World cyclist visits Cape

2015-05-26 06:00
Somen Debnath from India is riding his bike across the world and had a stop in Cape Town. From left are Donny Jurgens (City of Cape Town sport and recreation department), Mthokozisi Shezi (Nashua Cape Cobras player), Beresford Williams (president of

Somen Debnath from India is riding his bike across the world and had a stop in Cape Town. From left are Donny Jurgens (City of Cape Town sport and recreation department), Mthokozisi Shezi (Nashua Cape Cobras player), Beresford Williams (president of

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A Cape Town medical doctor, Amit Ghosh, has teamed up with Indian adventurer-cyclist Somen Debnath.

Ghosh (29) met Debnath, who hails from Sunderban-Kolkata in the province of Bengal, three weeks ago at a gathering at the Shri Siva Aalayam Hindu Temple in Rylands.

Debnath is on an around-the-world bicycle tour in aid of HIV/Aids awareness. He reached South Africa earlier this year – the 94th country on his trip. He has already cycled 112 600km.

“My goal is to travel 200 000km and visit 191 countries, meeting 20 million people by the end of 2020,” says Debnath.

“From 2009 to 2012, I cycled across Europe. I have travelled in 10 countries in the Middle East while South Africa is the 10th African country I have visited.

“During my travels I have experienced many close encounters which were life-threatening. At one stage I was blindfolded and strapped to a chair in darkness by the Taliban. But, overall, I generally came across good people, which has made my trip thus far not only interesting, but also fulfilling,” says Debnath.

While Ghosh is not joining Debnath on his journeys, he will be helping to document the adventurer’s travel stories.

“After my first meeting with Somen I was intrigued by his determination. I’m from Bengali decent and share his culture. My family has strong roots in India. Because his natural eloquence is in Bengali I want to assist him to create his stories in English. We also share a common vision about advocacy around HIV/Aids,” says Ghosh.

Debnath was recently the guest of JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security. Debnath handed over an Indian flag to the City at a ceremony held at the Newlands cricket ground. The flag was received by Nashua Cape Cobras player Mthokozisi Shezi.

Smith jokingly referred to Debnath as being “nuts” for his travels. “One can only have admiration for this brave young man,” said Smith

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