Mumbai, October 31, 2016
#UrbanSafari launched by Mr Raj Thackeray
Making heritage accessible to those who cannot walk long distances
#UrbanSafari,a unique initiative to generate awareness about Mumbai’s heritage, was inaugurated by Mr. Raj Thackeray on 31st October 2016 at a heritage petrol pump located in Ballard Estate that had started in 1938.. “During my college days we used to walk this beautiful area. And today after many years I am coming here again. Feeling is of happiness. I am happy that Bharat is starting this unique initiative,” says he before he sat in the vehicle and drove it a little to unveil the look.
#UrbanSafari is the brainchild of BharGo (Bharat Gothoskar), Mumbai’s own ‘Heritage Evangelist’. He intends to show the residents of the city different heritage sites from the comforts of an open vehicle.
Something that had begun as a hobby to show Mumbaikars the heritage hidden in the nooks and crannies of their own city, soon turned into an obsession for him. In the last one year, he and his associates have conducted over 50 walks. “However, during these walks we realised that not everyone is able to walk for three hours and hence we devised short walks, which were of just 1½ hour’s duration and easy for first timers. Yet, a section of society was not able to participate, especially elderly and disabled people. Hence, we have designed #UrbanSafari, a unique initiative of showing heritage sites in an open vehicle,” explains BharGo.
Utmost care has been taken to design the vehicle so that passengers get an unrestricted view without compromising on safety. #FortRide, the first tour, will start in November and will cover nearly 200 sites in the Fort precinct. Different tours like #AlibaugAhoy, #BandraBlast, #BehindBazar, #BycullaBylanes, #CoolColaba, #DadarDrive, #GoGirgaon, #2Hills and many more have beenplanned in the city and beyond.
In 2015, BharGo founded Khaki Tours with an aim to promote heritage awareness in an informative and fun way. Khaki Tours has covered enclaves like Parel, Lalbaug, Gamdevi, Bhuleshwar and Chowpatty, which are not typically associated with the word ‘heritage’ to break the myth that Fort is the only heritage enclave in the city. The mission of Team Khaki is ‘Heritage Evangelism’ – to generate awareness about heritage and encourage conservation. For more information please visit www.khakitours.com
Commemorating Founding Fathers – Khaki Tours intends to name each vehicle of #UrbanSafariafter a founding father/ mother of the city. The first vehicle has been named ‘Nana’ in the memory of JagannathShankarshet, the great philanthropist from the 19th century.
BharGo (Bharat Gothoskar) is a mechanical engineer and MBA from Mumbai University. He has over 16 years of experience in sales and marketing and has worked for corporate houses like Godrej, Pidilite and Mahindra. He left his corporate career to pursue his passion of Heritage Evangelism through experiential travel. You can contact BharGo on 8828100111.
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NR2- The Image Engineers