Eighty kilometers south of Jaisalmer, on our way through Rajasthan’s dry and flat desert land, our motorbike decides to stop without warning. As if it chooses to take a break on this very spot on the seemingly endless road where goats, cows and heavily loaded trucks pass once in a while. And there, out of the pale blue horizon, after only a few minutes a man stops with his bike.
His name is Amarkumar Ramchand Dholani and he has a mission.
For ten years he has been on the road, riding thousands and thousands of kilometers on his bike. Out of a good heart he travels his country with the sole purpose of increasing the awareness of HIV/AIDS in order to prevent spreading of the disease. He goes to villages and towns along the way to give teachings and information about how to recognize the disease and how to prevent it.
It takes him four years to travel the route: 40.000 kilometers through the 28 states of India from Kerala in south to Kashmir in north, from the vast deserts of Gujarat in west to the remote states far behind Bangladesh in east. He is now on his third trip through India, which means that within the last 10 years he has travelled around 100.000 kilometers.
Everything he owns is on the bicycle: clothes, blanket, pump and tools in a steel box attached to the side. On the tool box, stickers of Hindu Gods are plastered in peaceful union with a Christian crucifix. At the front the bike carries a basket, in which lies a bunch of thin papers in pink and green: flyers in Hindi and English with information about his mission. He lives by the mercy of people he meet, recieving what they choose to share with him: food, accomodation or a cup of chai.
We have neither food nor chai, so all we have to offer is a smile, and the promise that somewhere, far away in Europe people will read his story. And then just as he came: silent, smiling and determined he leaves towards the pale blue horizon.