Some journeys are more special than others. Ritu joined the Indian army after completing her bachelor's in Dental Science. She served two Short Service Commissions in the army and she was a captain when she left the armed forces in 1992. Now dental surgeon by profession, a mountaineer, skydiver and a paratrooper, she has a story to inspire.
Dr Capt Ritu Biyani Joseph's travels across the country with her daughter Tista Joseph made to the Limca Book of Records for first mother-daughter duo expedition on cancer awareness across the country.
Journey from the start
At the age of 40, when she was diagnosed of breast cancer her life took an unplanned route. Two surgeries, 6 chemotherapy cycles and 5 years of antibiotics can leave many spirits scarred but not hers. She was determined to dedicate her life to a mission.
In August 2000, Ritu's chemotherapy made her go bald. While at work then, a dental patient walked out of the clinic when he was made aware of Ritu's breast cancer treatment, thinking cancer to be a communicable disease. This experience stirred her to begin her journey across India spreading breast cancer awareness.
Travelling for a bigger purpose
Touching lives of more than 70,000 people in India, in a six month journey, she organized 140 workshops attended by 26,000 people and covered 30,220 kms in 177 days including as many as 26 states. She launched the Project High>>>way in 2006, a unique initiative to link adventure sports with cancer.
Ritu is the first Indian woman to do a solo drive across the four tips of India
Here's her travel map. A journey led by passion and a mission. During her journey, as many as 140 breast, cervix and oral cancer awareness workshops were conducted. Some of these workshops were held under the open sky or under a tree with the help of local translators. And 80% of these workshops, where organized and planned en route.
Apart from being a record holding traveller, Ritu has received the Manthan South Asia Award in 2008, thus getting recognition her efforts to create an awareness about breast cancer throughout the country. She was also honoured on the DEF Mobile Summit as "Ordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things" in the Red Rickshaw Revolution.
Ritu Biyani's passion for travelling led her to translate her travels into a journey full of purpose.
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