The 28-year-old FreeFlying Eagle, as she calls herself, left home on an Activa, on December 15, 2019, to travel solo all the way to Kashmir and then to Kanyakumari, the southern tip of mainland India. She covered a distance of more than 7,600 km across India in 42 days.
Neetu says that her purpose was simple and clear:
“People say that girls should stay indoors; they should not go out alone after dark. I wanted to prove them wrong. I want girls to move without fear.”
She wanted to prove to the society that it can be done and that is the reason she travelled alone across the country to encourage girls to have confidence and faith in themselves.
Neetu, who has pursued her MBA, runs an event management company named Nitanju Events. She has also been a part of the National Cadet Corps during her college days therefore also an adventure enthusiast.
“I know that every girl is not an athlete and she might not be physically strong, but they must be mentally prepared. They should not be scared when faced with a dangerous situation”
She did the journey from Madurai-Kanyakumari at night to prove that is was safe to do so.
During her trial run from Udaipur to Kashmir, Neetu realised that two men were following her on a bike near Pali. They kept honking to annoy her. Realising that she could not outpace them on a scooter, Neetu stopped the vehicle, took off her helmet and yelled at them till they left her alone.
After that incident, she realised that keeping some safety measures handy is important. So she got her helmet fixed with a visor which, if broken, would send a signal to the nearest ambulance service. Besides, Neetu also carried a Taser with her for self-defence throughout the journey.
Her live location was shared with the All Indian Riders Group and the Jain Society, all the time.
Her advice to girls is:
“When you are travelling alone, never speed. In fact, travel at a safe speed. Girls must undergo self-defence training and be mentally prepared and alert.”
Her idea of women’s independence doesn’t only mean financial independence. She feels:
“A woman should be allowed to make her own decisions without constraints.”