Travelling from Fort Kochi in the far south of India to Jaisalmer in the north of the country is a journey of over 1,600 miles that would take you about three hours on a modern jet.
But in a three-seater, 145cc rickshaw with a top speed of 34mph? It’ll take you 16 days full of sweat, mechanical breakdowns and some of the world’s most challenging road conditions.
That’s exactly what Connor Musk from our Delivery Team found out in September when he completed the mammoth trek across the world’s seventh largest country, raising £1,400 for charity in the process.
Connor was inspired to take part in the famous Rickshaw Run with a friend as he had long hoped of experiencing India, especially in such an authentic manner.
“I’ve always been one for a more adventurous holiday and find heading into the unknown to be extremely exciting. As the Rickshaw Run is a free-roam journey, we had complete control over where, when, why and how we navigated our way up through India,” he said.
Of course, this was more than a holiday, as it also enabled Connor to fundraise for several causes close to his heart.
“The charity element of the trip was the cherry on top of the cake. It’s been a while since I was able to raise money for charity, so it felt really good that I had a chance to do so again.”
The £1,400 raised by Connor and his travelling companion will be donated to the following charities:
- £500 pledged by Innovate Tax will be donated to the Happy Faces charity in Vadodara, India. Vadodara is the home of Innovate’s India office, where Connor dropped by to meet his colleagues during the Rickshaw Run. Happy Faces provides first aid, nutrition kits, medicines and more to underprivileged local people – and we are thrilled to be able to help!
- £500 is being donated to the Cool Earth charity, which is the official charity associate of the Rickshaw Run. Cool Earth is a UK-based organisation that works to protect endangered rainforests.
- The remainder will be distributed between several good causes in India that are led by two mutual friends of Connor and his fellow Rickshaw Runner. One contact, Dilip, works with orphaned children in Delhi, while Musa in Jaisalmer aims to provide local communities with English lessons.
Looking back on his fundraising trip, Connor explained: “The experience was incredible and unforgettable. The toughest thing was having to cover so much distance each day given some of the road conditions, (lack of) power of the rickshaw and getting pulled over for selfies with locals!
“It was always a race against the darkness, as the number one rule we were told was to never drive at dark. Luckily we largely managed to do that.
“I’ll always remember the incredible kindness and authenticity of the Indian people we met along the way. There were countless times where people came over just to talk to us or to help when we were having problems with our rickshaw.
“India was extremely welcoming; the ‘land of smiles and waves’ as we named it.”
Donna Smith, Head of Operations at Innovate Tax, added: “We were incredibly proud and keen to support Connor in undertaking this hardy but worthwhile adventure to raise money for several amazing charities near our offices in India.
“As a business, Innovate Tax is not shy when it comes to taking on individual escapades or team challenges in order to raise money for those who need it most. We can’t wait to see what Connor – and other adventurous members of our team – do next!”
All of us at Innovate are proud of Connor for completing the Rickshaw Run and raising such a phenomenal amount of money for some great causes. Nice work, Connor!