K to K Sponsored bike ride in Nepal and India
Janine Eagling (pictured) will be setting off on a sponsored bike ride in Nepal and India in February next year, cycling 320 miles through the foothills of the Himalayas, from Kathmandu to Kalimpong in the state of West Bengal, India. The challenge is estimated to take seven days, concluding with a climb of at least 3,000 feet in 10 miles, into the foothills of the Himalayas, camping along the route.
She is raising money for Dr Graham’s Homes, a school in Kalimpong, attended by her grandmother in the 1930s.
It was set up in 1900 by Dr Graham, a Church of Scotland moderator, to provide a home and education for Anglo Indian children. It now takes children from deprived backgrounds, many from Kolkata. It costs £1,200 annually to look after a child at the school, which includes education, accommodation, and nurture.
Janine made a similar trip three years ago. She said: "Me and my group cycled up the Ganges plain from Kolkata to Kalimpong. This time there will be fewer miles than during that trip, but many more hills. I have been trying to find some hills in Leicestershire to practice on, but I've had to be content with cycling up to Bradgate Park every so often, which has proved to be difficult enough!"
On her last visit to the school, a member of staff retrieved her grandmother’s file, which had lain untouched for the best part of 75 years. It contained correspondence about her between the school and her guardian, a Welsh missionary, and later, letters between her grandmother and the school, where she returned for holidays once or twice after she had left. She had fond memories of the school and often spoke of her experiences. The letters were fascinating and sometimes moving to read.
The school has many applications for places every year, but unfortunately can only take a fraction of cases. To help give todays’ pupils the life-changing experience that her grandmother had, she is aiming to raise at least £2,000.