Three women of North-East India, two of whom belong to the indigenous communities of the area, are giving a new meaning to the adage, ‘Why should boys have all the fun?’ Onen Nenty from Nagaland, Rosalynn Lushai from Mizoram, and Nirmali Nath from Assam have charted a new course that will inspire more women to embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. These women have a passion for motorcycling and have ridden their bikes across the seven states of North-East India in seven days, covering about 2000 km.
The trio embarked on their journey on April 3rd when their trip was flagged off from Guwahati. They wanted to have a fellow woman rider from each state but it wasn’t possible so the three decided to do it by themselves. According to them, the main purpose was to redefine North-East and also to break stereotypes about gender roles. In an interview, Onen Nenty said that she wanted to break the image of what it meant to be a Naga woman, “We women are not meant for just the kitchen; Nagas are adventurous and we like to follow our passion. I want to encourage women and tell them to come out of their comfort zones.”
The three women first found each other on social networking sites where each has a page dedicated to showcasing their passion for motorcycles. Once they hit it off, the plan to travel across North-East began to take shape. The trio wanted to come up with something that contributed to the image of the North-East and have fun in the process. They wanted to show the world the beauty of the land as well as the diversity of its culture and tradition. In case Sikkim is feeling left out, the ladies have said that one day they will definitely ride up to the state and spend a day there.
Rosalynn, who is a member of Aizawl Thunders, the oldest club of Royal Enfield lovers in India, says that women are finally stepping out of the shadows and embracing biking as a form of sport. She says that there are about 70 female riders in the club in Mizoram. Rosalynn was one of the first ladies to have started riding in the North-East. Just like her co-travellers, her first bike, too, was a Royal Enfield Classic 350. She says it was a nice experience riding on different terrains and roads.
Of the three women, Nirmali is the most experienced rider. She is from an Army background and so since childhood she travelled from one part of the country to another. She began going on solo trips from a young age travelling to various parts of the country. Her bio on Facebook says, "I am a dreamer who dreams to travel around the world on her motorcycle. My dream will come true soon." In the seven-day trip, her favourite place to explore was Arunachal Pradesh, "I once stayed here for 45 days exploring each and every part of the state. It is my favourite place to travel to."
Nirmali, Onen Nenty, and Rosalynn Lushai flagged off the journey from Guwahati on April 3rd. From there they travelled to Shillong-Silchar-Agartala-Aizawl-Manipur-Nagaland-Arunachal Pradesh and back to Assam. The reached their final destination on April 9th. The trio shared their experiences over various social platforms.
This article has been created as a part of the Adivasi Awaaz project, with the support of Misereor and Prayog Samaj Sevi Sanstha.