From February 16- 26, twenty adventurers from all over the world will be cycling more than 400km on rickshaws across the beautiful landscape of Bangladesh to champion the protection of the endangered Bengal tiger and the largest mangrove forest in the world - the Sundarbans. The event aims to support the tiger conservation activities of WildTeam, a nature conservation organisation based in Bangladesh.
This is no ordinary cycle ride. The challengers will travel on the most iconic and colourful mode of transportation: the cycle rickshaw. Through the eyes of the challengers, the world will experience the natural beauty of Bangladesh and its people, including the longest sea beach in the world, the lush hill tracts and the mysterious Sundarbans mangroves. The nature-loving challengers have come together for a reason – they wish to celebrate the rich natural heritage of Bangladesh and raise awareness of the need to join together to protect endangered wild tigers and their home. The team will also be raising funds through sponsorship to support WildTeam and in this way, their legacy will continue even after they return to their home countries. The challengers come from all walks of life, from a Bangladeshi health care expert, to His Excellency the Danish Ambassador, Mr Svend Olling – they prove when people are determined and passionate, big changes are possible.
The event was launched in Dhaka, in a celebration attended by event supporters, media and corporate representatives, academics and nature lovers. Lucy Boddam-Whetham, Director of WildTeam started off the event by explaining what makes this challenge unique, “The Wild Rickshaw Challenge is an ambitious pilgrimage-one of the first of its kind. A journey undertaken to show our love for nature and celebrate the Sundarbans and Bangladesh’s Royal Bengal tigers. We want to encourage everyone to join with us and support this epic adventure in any way they can”.
Professor Md. Anwarul Islam, CEO of WildTeam, talked about the importance of coming forward to protect the Bengal tigers, “There are only about 3,200 tigers left in the world. To survive, they require the support and initiatives of all of us. In Bangladesh, the tiger is the natural guardian of the Sundarbans– respected by local people who believe that as long as the tiger remains, the forest will remain. The protection of tigers- our national pride, and thus of the Sundarbans is critical to ensure that we build a green and secure future for our country.”
His Excellency the Danish Ambassador, Mr. Svend Olling, also a participant in the challenge said “Tigers are endangered, losing 97% of its population globally over the last century and are under threat from the growing international demand for tiger products. I believe that it is not too late to ensure a secure future for tigers, and that the time to act is now to protect the most celebrated symbol of nature’s majestic beauty.”
In support of the event, Dr. Hasan Mahmud, the Honourable minister of Environment and Forest has said, “The Royal Bengal tiger is a symbol of national pride for us. In the tigers’ mighty roar resonates the fighting spirit of the Bangladeshi people, I believe that with a combination of enthusiasm and initiative – like the Wild Rickshaw Challenge, we all can contribute to the protection of the tiger.”
Regent Airways, Youngone Corporations and Monsoon Films are supporting the Wild Rickshaw Challenge as corporate partners of the event. The Daily Star, Peoples Radio, UNB News and Channel i are standing by the event as media partners.
WildTeam believes that the Wild Rickshaw Challenge will be a platform uniting people all over the world through their shared love for nature, and pave a path for individuals looking for a way to contribute to tiger conservation.
For updates from the challenge visit: