A guide who glides

Alisha Shinde
Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Chatting up Rana Uppalapati, who stopped by in Pune recently while on his 6000 km expedition, aimed at raising funds for girl education

While most of us blame society for everything wrong happening around us, a few come forward to do something about the problems that they witness. Rana Uppalapati is one such person. The 37-year-old international skater from Visakhapatnam has taken up a worthy cause — education of the girl child. On September 5, Uppalapati started his 6000 km skating expedition to cover the Golden Quadrilateral, touching 20 major cities which include four metros. Through his expedition he expects to raise Rs 9 crore for the education of girls.
 
Uppalapati started his long journey from Hosur, which is his hometown, and on Tuesday, when he reached  Lonavala, he had covered 923 km. “I am not a professional skater, I just realised I could skate and decided to channelise it into something I believed in,” he says.
 
If he is not a professional skater, why did he choose the sport to raise awareness about the cause? Uppalapati says that initially, he wanted to do something that was never done. “I wanted to grab the attention of the people, which you see, has worked out pretty well, and it wouldn’t have worked if I was cycling or walking because people have used that technique in the past.”

And why did he feel compelled to skate for thousands of kilometers? Uppalapati says that he has always believed that if a girl child is educated, an entire generation gets educated. He explains that it is like the ripple effect. “All you need is a drop, which will go a long way in creating ripples in the water,” he says.

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