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Cyclist has sacred mission to save the world

Three years ago Abhishek Kumar Sharma was an ecologist working for a company in his native India. Now he is a man on a mission, a holy crusade to help save the world and he hopes that others will join him on this sacred quest. “I’m feeling that the world is very beau- tiful, the world is very unique,” Sharma said following his Wednesdaymorning arrival in Hawkesbury, “and I am happy to be doing this in one of my lives.” Sharma is on a six-year journey around the world, by bicycle, to help promote public awareness of the issue of climate change, and also to help with current lobbying efforts to develop an international solution to the problem. “This is not a one-country problem,” he said. “It’s a global one. We all have to do something. We all have to care about this one beautiful planet.” Climate change has become a hot-button topic among many politicians, with those who deny it, becoming louder and ruder in their comments about the scientific research and evidence in support. Sharma limited his observations about the critics of climate change research, both the politicians and the corporate executives, to a single comment without naming any names. “They don’t want to contribute themoney or the technology or the time,” he said, ad- ding that his goal is to reach out to ordinary people around the world to unite and press for action to slow down and stop radical climate change. “I humbly request everyone to do so- mething,” he said. “The world is very, very

beautiful and I am sure that 95 per cent of people are very good.” Sharma’s goal, when he began his global journey, was to bicycle across six continents and tour through 90 countries within a six- year period. As the 2020 deadline for his worldwide wanderings meets the halfway point on his tour calendar, he has completed his travels across three continents and begins his fourth continental odyssey with Canada. He has the government of India smoo- thing his way through the visa clearance at every country, but there are no big corpo- rations providing Sharma with sponsorship support. A Lithuanian bike company provi- ded him with a replacement bicycle at one point during his travels, but for themost part he relies on the generosity of the people he meets along the roads for both a place to sleep and a few coins in the donation box on his handlebars for the food he eats. Wherever he goes, Sharma has the same message for everyone. “There’s only one planet to live on for us,” he said. “We need to do something right now, because this is a beautiful planet. We have to ask ourselves, ‘What are we going to leave Ahbishek Kumar Sharma a un album rempli de photos, de lettres d’appui et d’introduction de chaque ambassade et consulat de l’Inde, dans tous les pays qu’il a visités à ce jour dans son voyage autour dumonde. Son but est d’informer les gens sur le problème du changement climatique et aider à promouvoir la coopération internationale pour faire face à la situation. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

Félicitations !

On a sultry Wednesday morning, Abhishek Kumar Sharms crosses over the bridge at Hawkesbury (photo below), leaving Québec behind him and beginning his journey through Eastern Ontario up to Ottawa, the next major stop for him on his six- year journey around the world to promote awareness of climate change and foster global unity in dealing with the issue. —photo Gregg Chamberlain

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