33-year-old Najira Noushad is on a 50-day solo hitch-hike ride to prove the point that India is safe for women traveling alone.
From the low-lying Kuttanad, a town below sea level in Kerala, to the high-altitude Everest Base Camp in Nepal, Najira Noushad, a 33-year-old homemaker, is on a 50-day solo hitchhiking journey to send out a message that India is safe for women traveling alone.
Najira Noushad is a native of Mahé, is a town on India’s southwest coast. Najira, a travel vlogger and the mother of five packed her bag and came to Mankombu in Kuttanad. She began her journey to Nepal on 9th February 2022. On Monday, 21 February, she reached Delhi, mostly taking rides on trucks. During nights, Najira stays with the families of people she hitchhiked with.
“I love to travel unaccompanied,” says Najira in an interview with The Hindu. “I am traveling from a place around 10 feet below sea level to a location at an altitude of more than 17,500 ft. Before setting off on the journey, I had decided not to use the train, flight or bus and instead hitchhike on trucks and other modes of travel. Although challenging at times, hitchhiking has been a wonderful experience so far. I have been able to meet people from diverse backgrounds, know about their lives, different cultures and enjoy the local cuisine. My own experience is that the more you travel, the more you understand.”
She has so far covered 10 Indian States and in the next ten days, she is expected to cross into Nepal. Najira says that she is aware of the risks involved but is determined to break stereotypes. According to her, there are a lot of negativities being spread over the safety of solo female travelers in India. Her vlogs are mostly watched by women. So she is sending two messages to them – ‘Admire India’ and ‘She can travel alone’
Najira had been staying in Oman with her husband and she came to Mahé last year. She says that she got the courage to start the solo hitch-hie journey after doing an all-India trip last year, in which she traveled in a car with two others and covered 13,000 km across 17 States and five Union Territories. She says that her husband and her mother are her biggest supporters.