Gujarati businessman concludes nostalgic India-UK road trip on India’s National Unity Day
Gujarati businessman Daman Thakore who set off on a nostalgic India-UK family road trip back in August accompanied by his wife, father and daughter and a close-knit group of friends and family has completed the journey on India’s National Unity Day – celebrated on the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The 50-year-old and his so-called “Team Lal Pari” covered over 11,000 kilometres across 14 countries to drive up their vintage car named “Lal Pari” or red angel to the now-defunct MG factory in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, last week. Driving up the 1950 MG YT back to its birthplace, Thakore concluded the tour by handing over a replica of Gujarat’s Statue of Unity commemorating Sardar Patel to a representative of His Majesty King Charles III.
He said: “Lal Pari embarked on this journey with the motive of spreading smiles and the message of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam – One World, One Family. A replica of the Statue of Unity travelled with us as a hood ornament made in sterling silver with the Indian and British national flag, which was handed over to Deputy Lieutenant Felicity Dick – a representative of His Majesty the King in Oxfordshire.
“Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of the most influential personalities in the history of free India and a symbol of unity who integrated more than 560 princely states into the Union of India within a remarkably short span of time, was one of the motivating factors for the remarkable journey in a 73-year-old classic car from India to London.”
Sardar Patel – the first Home Minister of Independent India – inspired the travellers to endure the extreme journey through the scorching heat of Dubai and Iran, the desert of Iran, a sandstorm and daunting mountainous terrain in Turkey, the canals in Venice, the Gotthard Pass in Switzerland and the serene, beautiful roads of France.
The expedition was symbolically flagged off by Mangal Prabhat Lodha, India’s Minister of Skills, Employment, Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the government of Maharashtra, on Independence Day on August 15 in Mumbai.
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