“The Free Flying Eagle” is a fearless girl whose courage and iron resolution make us admire her. The word stubborn is the best adjective that you can give her, for the way she stands headstrong in front of rocks of our life.
She completed a 4600 Km journey from Kashmir To KanyaKumari on a Activa Scooty in protest of the infamous “Priyanka Reddy Rape Case” and names it as “Ride For Revolution”.
She is a India Book of Records holder and a successful entrepreneur currently working as the CEO of Nitanju Events. We got a chance to talk to her on her passion and life, so scroll down to see what is her stubborn story.
Tell us something about your life before #Ride for revolution.
So first let me introduce myself I am Neetu Chopra a.k.a “The FreeFlying Eagle” . I run an event management company based in Udaipur named as Nitanju Events.
Also I have held the position of GCI(Girl Cadet Instructor ) in NCC(National Cadet Corps) as I earned a gold medal at the ‘C’ certification exam. I always believe that
Let go of your fears and fly high with your wings of passion, in the sky of ambitions without any limitations.
I belong to Balotra,Rajasthan, a city infamous for its patriarchal rules. Also I belong to the ‘Jain’ community which came forward to help me in my mission as I will tell you later. As a child at the age of 9, I lost my mother and that’s when I was awestruck by life and since then I have fought my battles and came to a point in life where I became financially and emotionally independent. So i was enjoying a pretty smooth life with a good career at hand and bright future in my eyes.
Then What inspired you to take such a bold step and decide to go on a solo journey from Kashmir to Kanyakumari ?
In the merry go round of life , I have always wanted to do something for students and particularly girls. When life was going all smooth , on November 27 there came the news about the infamous “Hyderabad Rape Case”one of the most atrocious crimes committed against women of this nation. This news felt like a thunderclap, I got so depressed after this. I had tears in my eyes and kept on thinking about it for more than 3 days and just felt the intensity of what she must have gone through when those maniacs would have took over her.
This thought just made me think that what is the solution to all this and believe me candles, posters are just the consolation that we give ourselves. Your angry post on social media just won’t stop these psychopaths. I thought that “Why is it odd for a girl to be out late? ” eventually I realised that it was just not common to do so. So what if we made it like just another thing that just happens without anybody bothering about it. I realised that “the only solution is to come out “. If we girls jus t come out and make the society know that it is just my will whatever I wear and whenever I want. The vet Priyanka was not wearing anything short nor was she partying out late she was just doing her duty but still had to face these maniacs.
At one of my sessions with students in Jodhpur I arbitrarily just said that “I will ride solo to prove the society that what we girls are capable of .”and inspire other girls with my journey. And when I later thought of it, It started to seem the best idea but I didn’t knew how to go about it. I started learning self-defense and with some customisations created a way in which I could teach girls to be independent. I went for a ride from Jodhpur to Jaipur, Rajasthan where I was contacted by Mr. Swaroop who is a member of RRC(Royal Riders Club) who got me associated to RRC. The I was contacted by a RRC member from Delhi as I was thinking of starting the voyage from Delhi. He suggested that I should do it from “Kashmir to Kanyakumari” as it was done ever before and would set a record.
Why did you choose a scooty over any bike and how did you took care of your safety while riding?
The spark was there now it was time for the fire to enlighten and burn these illogical rules of the society to ash. I bought a brand new Activa BS6 125cc in Jaipur on Dec 08th on my own as till now nobody showed any support. I choose Activa or as I call it “Chetak”(legendary horse of Maharana Pratap) as the whole “Hyderabad rape case” was centered around her Activa getting punctured and also 80% of women in India ride a scooty. I wanted to show that if I can you can too.
Now another aspect of this was how will I keep myself safe and how will I ride safe. So I bought riding gear with an high tech helmet which had Bluetooth and GPS in it. I wore full gear from head to toe. Also I had to add sealant in my tires to keep away the toil of changing the tires in middle of the journey. Also in some terrains there is an issue of low vision so I had to get a L.E.D. lamp attached in the front for better night vision and vision in low vision areas.
Also I kept a knife with me along with a tazer torch for self defense. I took along four pairs of clothes with me. I promised to ride at the economy speed of 40-60 Km per hour and to ride safely and wisely with all my calm on.
Then how you started your journey?
I started the long voyage on December 8 and reached Delhi from where I went to Jalandhar, Punjab with the support of Anshu Maini(RRC Rider) who supported me a lot. Then I was connected with North Extreme riders from Jammu. From the border of Jammu I was escorted by four North Extreme riders namely Mr. Farhan, Mr. Mannu, Mr. Vikrant and Mr. Satish, a huge shout out to them as there humbleness won my heart.
Now came the first obstacle of the ride, I reached Jammu on December 11 the period when there was a full shutdown in Jammu due to the CAA-NRC thing. Many people said that why would anyone do this at this odd time also the four riders assisting me were demoralised by locals for helping me. They boldly said “Our sister from Rajasthan has come over 2800 km and now shying away from helping her would be the biggest cowardice ”.
We reached Ramban, Jammu by evening 6.30pm, of 12th December. Ramban is 60 km away from Srinagar , the day I reached there the roads were all closed due to snowfall and landslides. We got stuck at the hotel in Ramban, I was very afraid of being between four strangers but then things started to gel up I hung out with them and started to feel safe. Through this I got to know that “there are good humans there in the world who just need to be trusted.” But media would not tell us about the good and only hype the evil.
Then in -4 degree Celsius and continuous rainfall, I started the “#Ride for revolution” on December 15 from Ramban. I came to Jammu with these four and then started my solo ride. The first stretch was so tough due to the rainfall that it took us a whole day to ride 160km. As they say “When going gets tough, tough gets going”.
How did you come up with the “Ladkiyon Ghar Se Bahar Niklo”?
In “Pink-City” Jaipur. Here is where I started taking sessions as per planned. I took a session at Biyani College then took another session and then left to kick off my voyage again. This was the place where the shoutout of the journey “Ladkiyon Ghar se bahar niklo” was born.
Tell us about your experience of riding 570 Km at one go and your sessions at Surat,Gujrat.
I left the Udaipur, Rajasthan on the evening of and rode straight for 16 hours covering 570km and reaching the diamond city Surat, Gujrat. This ride of 570 km was the longest in a day and also was the most tiring. When the sun rose I had to take sessions from right 7:30 AM to midnight at 12.30 PM taking back to back sessions at 10 different parts of the city. This was the longest day and night of whole of journey but still there was more to come. Surat was the city where this journey was actually recognised and this city added its magic to my voyage, and in the next stretch the charm of Surat’s diamonds stayed with me.
After Surat, things started changing and people started coming out to support me, I was asked again and again for the way they could help as when told then about the way I purchased a new Scotty, high-tech gear and petrol expenses were there. The total budget of his ride was about 1.75 to 2 lakhs and people supported me to be able to bear the costs.
As a North Indian how was your journey in the southern half of India.
My first exposure to South India was Hubbali, Karnataka then I went towards the heart of south, I was amazed once and again by the hospitality shown by the people. We always say we have “Unity in Diversity” but that day I felt it
When I was riding from Hubli to Bangalore, as people know I am not eating outside food, so I was amazed when people at Davangiri highway waiting for me with breakfast and patella (Semiliquid nutritious beverage).
Bangalore was one of the most warmly welcoming city as there were people on the highway who welcomed and I was getting welcomes till I penetrated to the heart of the city. Here I took a great session with young girls who were ambitious and then there was a rally arranged by them in which girls were riding Royal Enfield “Bullet” and were no less than bullets. They started shouting “Jab tak Suraj chand rhega Neetu Chopra ka naam rhega” “ AAN BAAN MAAN HAI – Pachapadra ki shaan” hai which kind of felt awkward but boosted me also. Also in Bangalore , the government started taking interest and the Police specially shown incredible support. With all these memories dug deep in my heart I left Bangalore .
Then crossing Salem and E-road with one session each I went forward and reached Madurai , Tamil Nadu. Here I faced some language issues but still courage and love have no language I was able to convey my message. Also for most of the time I was in Madurai it was always raining.
What was the most unique question you faced on the journey?
An interesting thing happened in Madurai I faced a question that “How safe is night riding for girls?”, I my whole journey every day I was riding till at least 12AM in the night but now to I decided also to bust the myth that night riding is unsafe. The following day was my last day so something took over me and I just wanted to ride as much as I could.
I rode from Madurai to Kanyakumari without taking any breaks for sleeping and just went on. I rode 24 Hrs without any sleep and result was that I reached KanyaKumari 12 hrs ahead of schedule. That was something that made me feel alive. During this stretch I once fell of the scooter and had to take a break of 2 Hrs but that didn’t stop me from riding long again.
How was the end of your journey?
I reached KanyaKumari on January 3, 12 hours before schedule. There a closing ceremony was organised by Jain Community for me and the number of people present their amazed and for a moment I had tear in my eyes.
As now I had 12 Hrs in my hand in KanyaKumari then the “Free flying Eagle ” inside me just knocked and said why don’t you do one more destination.
Then I rode again to restlessly to Trivandrum, Kerala adding one more state to my record making it total of 10 states and also the ride was 400 Km long so my total ride length was now 4600 Km, which is more than the Guinness Record Title for longest ride on scooty, so I am kind of expecting the certificate from Guinness World records as it is in their court now.
So that’s how my journey came to an end on January 3, 18 days of continuous riding and sessions with loads of stories.
Apart from riding and self-defense sessions what was your take on this journey?
I did not stay in any hotel during the journey mostly I was staying between families from different cultures I at least tasted 100+ new dishes and that also from 20+ different cuisines. Staying with families made me get stories of what actually our culture is and I am proud of the vivid culture we posses in our country. Also one thing, not one actually two things helped me a lot “Redbull” and “Tea” and these are present no matter where you are in the country.
Vividness also reminds of the climate variations we have in this beautiful country. I started in -4 degree Celsius and in mid of the journey faced fog, rain, snowfall and everything and I ended up at sweating 34 degree Celsius in Kerala. This was an experience of a life time.
How has your life changed after “Ride For Revolution”?
After completing this long voyage I went to take an audition of MTV ROADIES and cleared first two rounds and also I was appreciated by the judges of the show. Then after reaching home I was awarded with a lot of awards and then the big moment of achieving India Book of Records title. Also as a speaker I was transformed as I had taken so many sessions and got a chance to interact with people coming form all walks of life. This made a more confident orator and a very patient person.
What message do you want to give to the readers?
So that’s where my journey ended or should I say yours began cause I want everyone reading this should have this experience in their life also.
Last thing I want to say “Ladkiyon Bahar Niklo”, wear whatever suits you at whatever time you want to, just get out and bust each and every social illogical stereotype on us.
So here the “Free Flying Eagle ” signs off .