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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Women biker in Doon to spread awareness against suicide - TNN

Shivani Saxena, TNN | Dec 17, 2015, 10.36PM IST

Twenty-seven-year-old Sana Iqbal from Hyderabad, who has covered over 5,200 km and 10 cities in the country riding on her bike, to spread awareness against suicide and depression is now in Dehradun.

Iqbal is running an awareness campaign on suicide, identification of suicidal traits and its prevention and chronicling her journey on bike, to spread the message of happiness across states. She is in Doon till Saturday and will be holding sessions in various colleges in the city.

Speaking with TOI, Sana Iqbal said, "I learnt how to ride a bike when I was in class VII from my uncle and it is like meditation to me. I faced depression myself and fought suicidal tendencies. I realized we often refrain from speaking about such things and youngsters specially have a hard time opening about their emotional breakdown. Some also take escape routes like drugs to deal with it and they must be made aware about the dangers of drug abuse."

"After my personal experience with depression, I decided I need to create an awareness that being sad is not even an option, it is just the wrong choice! Hence, I started with my journey on the bike across various cities in India and have so far covered almost 8 cities and interacted with over 5,000 students over how to spread happiness and combat depression. I have spoken to youth in Roorkee and Haridwar on December 16 and I am really looking forward to speak to students in Dehradun till Saturday."

Iqbal specified that this is her first visit to Uttarakhand and she would definitely like to come back. She said, "Intriguingly, most of the youngsters have relationship issues. They either are dealing with break-ups or some are depressed due to not having a special someone. They need to know this is not the end of the world and there is help out there like some NGOs where they can call and share their feelings."

"I feel a woman rider on a mission to spread happiness is a really cool thing to do. I asked her ways to handle depression in case if I ever feel that low in life. One must be prepared and she quite methodically mentioned how to speak about such things, have emotional talks with the close people and to be realistic," said Prajjwal Singh, a student preparing for his IIT entrance, who attended one of Iqbal's sessions.

Iqbal started off her ride on November 23 from Goa and intends to cover 40,000 km on her bike in a span of six months covering at least 1 to 5 colleges on her way in each state. So far, she has covered over 5,200 km and 10 cities including Pune, Gwalior, Agra, Indore, Bhopal, Haridwar, Roorkee and now Doon. After Doon, the wandering biker might leave for Ludhiana or Chandigarh.