Biking From Andamans to Himalayas: Ashraf Hanif’s Epic Ride Bridges Barriers

Ashraf Hanif from Andaman Islands who biked across India at Umling La on the Himalayas the world's highest motorable pass.
Ashraf Hanif from Andaman Islands who biked across India at Umling La on the Himalayas the world's highest motorable pass.
In what’s being touted as the first of its kind, 38 year old Andaman based biker and environmentalist Ashraf Hanif has biked from India’s southern most tip Campbell Bay in Andamans to Umling La near Ladakh on the Himalayan mountain range, world’s highest motorable pass, to what he calls “bridge the gap between mainlanders and islanders”.
For more than a decade Ashraf collected ocean plastics with a vision to turn Andamans plastics free. Spreading the message of clean & green India, Ashraf used the opportunity to meet and network with  environmentalists, NGOs and bikers community exchanging notes, raising awareness on Andaman and Nicobar Islands and inviting them to visit Andamans. “There’s a lot of misconception that only Tribals live in Andamans. There is plenty to see and learn” says Ashraf Hanif to
The expedition took ninety days. After biking across the northern and central islands in Andamans the bike was shipped to Chennai from where he covered the eastern and western coasts visiting Kanniyakumari, Kerala, Mangalore, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Manali and  Umling La, 19000 feet high. He had also touched Kargil, Srinagar, Amritsar, Delhi, Lucknow, Bihar and Kolkata from where the bike was shipped back to Andamans.
Among the many inspiring people Ashraf met is Chennai's Kamakshi Paati who does amazing work at 95.

The opportunity, he says connected him with amazing people  and was a learning experience. He was particularly inspired by 95 year old Kamakshi Paati in Chennai who actively  works for environmental  and social causes. “Kamakshi Paati does amazing work. I learnt from  her, if we are passionate about our work the passion will convert into energy to achieve our dreams”. He was also drawn to the work of Praveenlata in Jaipur teaching underprivileged children living in the slums; she also trains college students and school dropouts make sanitary pads so they could earn. The pads he says already have a good market.

He also found the work by a Goa couple engaged in solid waste management deploying technology in segregation and tracking systems interesting. “I want to replicate this efficient system in future” says Ashraf.
The expedition Ashraf says has also generated a buzz among bikers for 
expedition in Andamans. “Many are keen on arrive and drive expedition model to  explore Andamans like we have in Ladakh. I am working on permissions”.

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