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Old 17th April 2015, 23:02   #271
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Default Re: The Road My Home Forever...

Hats off to your Courage, Curiosity and most importantly your Compassion. Most people can only dream of giving up their jobs and pursuing such a life shackled by nothing. Your experiences on the road and with the different people must have given you a more different perspective of life, as it did to me and to others who have read this travelogue!!
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Old 19th April 2015, 02:33   #272
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I salute you Sir for having this kind of courage to leave your job and and look forward towards your dream. You're living the dream of few people like us who want to follow their dream but can't due to certain circumstances. Looking forward for further updates.
All the best for future and I wish you happy miles on the road. Ride Safe.

Regards,
Swapnil
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Old 20th April 2015, 15:22   #273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadinc View Post
Mr Baddy... its takes courage to travel with just a few 100 bucks in todays time.... Salute to you my friend...
one thing i have learnt from the road is that once you believe in the road and the flow, it usually opens up many paths and avenues through which you can carry on your wanderlust....

pls pen down ur experiences.. u never know who u will inspire and be inspired in return....

Cheers
Merwyn
Merwyn, this is not meant to be in the section of "travelogues". This is way beyond everything and maybe is called "Life" (never experienced though). I have read numerous travelogues of exotic locations, classy rides, beautiful photographs etc but you made it look like something written on the beach sand and the water washing it away. Everyday you would be waking up with "determination" and going to bed with "satisfaction" but for us (humans) though we have some amount of satisfaction but no where upto this level of "determination". Bro this is an awesome journey of life and wish you all the very best and would like to surely meet you up wherever in India you are; sometime soon. Somewhere in the corner of my mind this thought is running " Lions and Tigers maybe more powerful, but the WOLF does not perform in the circus"
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Old 3rd August 2015, 11:46   #274
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Default Re: The Road My Home Forever...

Hi Merwyn,

Hope you are doing well. Have been waiting for a while for an update from your end. Do log in whenever possible and update your current status.
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Old 12th August 2015, 17:55   #275
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Hello Merwyn,
Wherever you're & what ever you're upto, sincerely hope everything is smooth sailing. Few lines on your latest adventures would be MUCH appreciated. Until then I'm Subscribed
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Old 13th August 2015, 12:10   #276
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Default Re: The Road My Home Forever...

I have been following Merwyn's updates for quite sometime now through means of various social media.

Currently, Merwyn is in remote Arunachal Pradesh and his Project Batti is in full swing in the remotest areas of the North-East. He and his well-wishers have successfully completed an E-waste drive where they have collected over 300 kgs of E-wastes through multiple sources and donations from kind hearted people via Bangalore based NGO's named Second to None and Vimochana. All these E-waste will be contributing to light up many remote villages across the North East.

Here's an article about Merwyn that most of us must read: Bangalore Mirror: Your phones can Light up their homes

Quoting from the article:
Quote:
Batti Project (an initiative that aims to provide basic lighting in remote villages in the North East India), Second to None (a group of volunteers encouraging reuse, recycle and replenish resources) and Vimochana (NGO and forum for women's rights) are organising a flea market, hoping Bengalurians will come forward and part with their e-waste so a couple of hundred homes in the North East can enjoy the benefits of electricity.
The fourth edition of Second to None Vimochana Santhe, for the very first time, has an entire stall dedicated to collecting e-waste — cell phones, chargers, keyboards, batteries, and other electronic products. "This in turn will cater to the lighting and electrification requirements of the bottom of the pyramid," says Merwyn Coutinho, co-founder of The Batti Project. The project has been working to change the existing landscape of lighting methods within rural India - by harnessing renewable energy sources.
In the last three years the Project has been able to light up the homes of 248 families and by January 2016 they plan to reach at least 1500 homes in Seppa in Arunachal Pradesh.
Dear Merwyn, I can only bow down in respect for what you are doing. You are a great man with a wonderful heart. Such selfless people are hard to find. I am eagerly waiting for more of your posts and updates. Keep up the good work !
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Old 11th November 2015, 21:38   #277
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Default Re: The Road My Home Forever...

Well Merwyn, here's wishing you the very best of luck!

You're living the dream of few people like us who want to follow their dream but can't due to certain circumstances. Looking forward for further updates.

Ride safe.

-Fintail.
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Old 17th May 2016, 16:48   #278
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Default Re: The Road My Home Forever...

I came across this article today about Merwyn and his project Batti.

Source: Scoopwhoop

Quote:
Six years ago, two Bengaluru youngsters undertook a rather aimless journey in the north-East of India and found themselves in an extremely remote village called Gandhigram in Arunachal Pradesh. Completely cut-off from the mainstream world, the village is nestled in the bountiful jungles of the Eastern Himalayas but had no electricity at all until some time back.

Thanks to that visit, 254 homes in and around the village are now lit up - with solar lights - for the first time.
Way to go Merwyn. Keep up the good work.
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Old 30th April 2017, 12:40   #279
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Any more updates? Just read this on the go from start to finish. I cant believe this escaped me all these years of being on this forum.

Truly inspired!
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Old 30th April 2017, 13:00   #280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Any more updates?
I checked the ‘Roadinc’ profile. His last login was on 10th Apr-16. From more than one year he is away from Team-bhp. I am surprised how is it possible! For me it is not possible for more than one day.
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Old 30th April 2017, 13:06   #281
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IN-RJ View Post
I checked the ‘Roadinc’ profile. His last login was on 10th Apr-16. From more than one year he is away from Team-bhp. I am surprised how is it possible! For me it is not possible for more than one day.
Thats because he is out there experiencing the world as opposed to most of us experiencing it within a screen.

His blog seems to be defunct, but his facebook pages are alive and kicking, obviously less of a hassle to update stuff there as opposed to a dedicated blog. He also seems to be fully devoted to the batti project, which seems to be his guiding light on his travel, no pun intended.

On further poking around his facebook page, it looks like he got him self a landcruiser camper! Now that should be of interest to many folks here.

Mods please merge all my posts, i am sorry about the back to back messages, on my phone.
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The Road My Home Forever...-1493540343713.jpg  


Last edited by Gannu_1 : 30th April 2017 at 14:23. Reason: Back to back posts merged.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 10:56   #282
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
On further poking around his facebook page, it looks like he got him self a landcruiser camper! Now that should be of interest to many folks here.
Yes he has been using this Land Cruiser for over a year now. He drove the LC80 from down south all the way to Arunachal. Recently he did a roadtrip to Spiti on the LC80 as well. Looks purposeful with the ARB bumpers, Rhino Rack, fuel jerrycan, bicycle mount, winch kit etc.
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Old 12th May 2017, 12:56   #283
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Default The road.. The life.. The love.. The movement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Yes he has been using this Land Cruiser for over a year now. He drove the LC80 from down south all the way to Arunachal. Recently he did a roadtrip to Spiti on the LC80 as well. Looks purposeful with the ARB bumpers, Rhino Rack, fuel jerrycan, bicycle mount, winch kit etc.
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Dear team-bhpians,

I sincerely apologise for my laziness in updating the blog here, it's been a while but never there is month gone where I have not thought of updating the blog here. However there are so many things keep happening in my journey that I don't know where to start. For starters I don't want to write this blog like a daily log, after a point it gets too mundane. However I would love to share the tessellation that happens as a result of this movement.

So far you may have observed my initial ride across the country and my introduction to the northeast.

While in mainland India I could pick up petty jobs to earn my sustenance and the pace was much faster as mostly we understand the culture and the people much better than NE part of the country, here the pace changes, one could say lack of infrastructure slows you down, but this came as a blessing. I found the magic to slow travel, park the bike and move on foot and stay put in an region longer so that one can immerse in the cultural experiences of tribes which were quite foreign and new to me.

With this, the format of sustainability also had to change from petty jobs to creating sustainable ideas that would help the place and the people I visit. Not that I did not try doing menial jobs and helping out families I lived with their daily chores and in the farms.. so I realised that was inefficient in the physical tasks i did.. where the tribes would take 1hr to till the soil, I would take 3 hrs .. I was more of a liability then an asset.

One of my tribal friend put it out nicely, "we tribals like to take a lot of physical stress and you city folks like to take a lot of mental stress."

Hence it was time to stress my brains .. when the idea of 'batti' came by, I realised I can use my corporate skills to make things happen for the villagers. ‘batti' became the excuse for me to explore further in the region. Earlier it was difficult to explain to the tribes about why I was there, often my way was looked upon by suspicion and my intent of being in tribal lands questioned, soon that changed, now they started seeing the purpose of my being there .. and that purpose was light.

One question I often get is 'when are u going to settle? To which my usual answer is , 'I am already settled, my settlement is mobile'

What about love? what about a companionship?

When you let things to the flow, in that movement a lot of things happen, and in those things 'love happens as well. And me too had the opportunity to fall in love on the road. There are people in the universe who live a similar life and the cosmos some how brings you together to give you an experience that you should have at that moment in order to grow and fulfil the purpose to co-exist even if it is just for a while. This also gives you an opportunity to experience life in a a what which you could never experience as a solo traveller, There are perks of travelling solo, but there are insights that one can have only as a couple.

Now with love happened, and batti taking shape, with the terrains NE India offers we soon realised that the bike will no longer keep us on the move safely, hence it was time to move to 4 wheels. Wheels that would become home. Hence i started to look out for a home on wheels. Since it was Arunachal Pradesh that we were moving around, I wanted a strong set of wheels that would not easily break down and that with a 4 wheel drive would be ideal, hence I began to hunt ..

A second hand Gorkha was the first choice, however no one was selling their Gorkhas at that time , I did see some Judo bodies, but all were 2 wheel drives .. my hunt brought me down to Coimbatore, where we saw several 4x4 options , like the trooper, Nissan patrol and Hilux.. most were beyond our budget. But then this LC60 rolled in, and it was love at first site, the size, the power, and the retro-style all went well, it was a feeling of home when you opened the back and just lay down.

I should admit, at that time I was an Amateur with cars and I was willing to take the risk with this 27yr old car. I knew parts were a problem, but somehow i could not decide against it - one may say it was an Impulsive decision, but this one was gonna be my home, and no other vehicle in India offered the space, power and command on the road, 3 yrs later and driving it for more than a 100,000 kms i find comfort in this home and feel settled, it has taught me a lot about the car, a lot about the road, helped me mature in this lifestyle, most importantly kept me moving.



North East India seems to have kept my interest, especially Arunachal Pradesh. This journey has become a study of anthropology and my understanding of how we’ have become us’ has gained more clarity. This unplanned journey seems to have a flow, and sustainability is at the core of that flow, With ‘The batti project, putting more light on the tribes and culture, it also gave an opportunity to create social experiments with sustainable ideas that would benefit the local populace with various spin offs. With ‘the batti project, there came a need to have a sustained fund flow: initially we depended on our social network and crowd sourcing, sooner we realised that we may just exhaust the network and the idea of light may not sustain itself, hence we created events that will help spread awareness and reach a larger audience. One idea that stuck with us was kindled by an Auto driver, while my team mate and partner (who operates from Bangalore) was having a random discussion on the work we do, where the auto driver wanted to be a part of the giving, but money was a problem. This thought bothered us, we wanted everyone who felt like reaching out should have an opportunity without feeling the pinch in their wallets, Hence we decided we will start collecting e-waste. With its growing problem in the cities, we thought we could provide a balance between the waste in the cities and the light in the villages, Today there is a dedicated team in Banglore who collects e-waste from your door steps.

Ride to Light:



(MODS, please note uploading this video not as a marketing tool but as a update of my journey)

The Batti Project gained a lot of interest amongst people, everyone wanted to contribute in their own ways. There was this gentleman who came up to us and said I want to ride for you and raise funds, he had already done a couple of charity rides from Bangalore to Hyderabad, also he was a training at that time for the ‘Tour of Nilgiris’. One thing i was sure if anyone had do charity ride for ‘batti’ then it had to be in Arunachal, where it all began. and with the goodwill of the tribe who were the first beneficiaries of light, i was confident that we will be able to support such a ride. We quickly put a team together, created a details route map and opened the invitation to the cycling community.

Till date we have done 2 editions of ‘Ride to Light: The Mishmi hills challenge’ a 300km bicycle ride deep into eastern Himalayas, supported by the local tribes and ending at a tribal festival. These 2 rides have so far helped raise funds for over a 100 homes, empowering the locals with skills and developing infrastructure for responsible adventure tourism, all in all the event is like a small village moving together camping every night till we reach the destination 6 days away.

The Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1485.jpgThe Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1487.jpg

One thing lead to another, This event made us realised that we create a lot of waste and with urbanisation slowly creeping in we will surely create a lot more waste, and as of now many places in Arunachal does not have the infrastructure to manage or dispose waste, and surely enough we picked up the subject have started work towards understanding the kind of waste we create and help put a measure before it turns out to be a problem like in the cities.

The Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1493.jpgThe Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1528.jpgThe Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1570.jpgThe Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1636.jpg
The Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1736.jpg


This July, i will complete 7 yrs on the road, and already there has been so many experiences that i forget most of them until i am reminded about it, however the format has been the same, No plans and no timelines, but now the road seems to have a plan, and i am still allowing the flow decide the coarse for me.

The Road My Home Forever...-_mg_1783.jpg


In one way i am thank full to my fellow bHPian who have been so loyal to this journey and literally gave me a thread to write this post, for which i was lost. I will be happier to respond to questions you may have which can turn into a post, rather than me thinking of what the update should be.

Leaving you with the video of the batti journey.





Cheers !
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Old 12th May 2017, 13:16   #284
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Hi Merwyn,

I have been following your thread right from the start when you started off from Mumbai. Then as a non-member and now that i'm a member, i'm more than happy to write to you.

I'm based out of Bangalore and would really love to contribute to the e-waste initiative that's been set-up. Would try to get in touch with the team here.

Moreover, we the city mortals just dream of what you are living today. Have some more ideas for you, will write to you 1-o-1.

Thanks for updating the thread.

Regards
Saurav
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Old 12th May 2017, 14:44   #285
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Hi Merwyn, you have dared to live a life many people envy or only dream. Long may it continue. thanks for sharing your journey here at Team-Bhp. Just searched your Facebook page and clicked "follow".
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