Impact On Wheels: My Plans For World Water Day 2023

World Water Day 2023 is about accelerating change to solve the water and sanitation crisis …… In 2015, the world committed to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 as part of the 2030 Agenda – the promise that everyone would have safely managed water and sanitation by 2030. Right now, we are seriously off-track


Namaste from India!

This is Utkarsh Sethia and India From My Bike is my personal blog where I share about my bikepacking expeditions from India. I have 6+ years of experience working in the Climate and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector – especially providing safe drinking water to rural communities in India through the programme initiatives of my past employers – Development Alternatives and Helioz: Future Economy

This World Water Day – 22nd March, 2023; I will be starting a bikepacking expedition along the length of Indira Gandhi Canal in the desert state of Rajasthan in India. I will be covering 700+ Kms in around 10 days riding in scorching summer temperatures. This World Water Day; I will be a Humming Bird too – I WILL BE THE CHANGE I WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

One day in the forest, a fire broke out. All the animals ran for their lives. They stood at the edge of the blaze, looking at the flames in terror and sadness. Up above their heads, a hummingbird was flying back and forth to the fire, over and over again. The bigger animals asked the hummingbird what she was doing. “I am flying to the lake to get water to help put out the fire.” The animals laughed at her and said, “You can’t put out this fire!” The hummingbird replied, “I’m doing what I can

An Ancient Story Reposted by UN WATER

About Indira Gandhi Canal

The Indira Gandhi Canal is the longest canal in India. It begins at the Harike Barrage in the state of Punjab in India and continues in a south-westerly direction for some 470 kms. The canal irrigates a vast amount of land in the Indian portion of the Thar desert where water is a scarce commodity. Besides providing water for agriculture, the canal supply drinking water to hundreds of people in far-flung areas of the Thar desert.

Map showing Indira Gandhi Canal (Maru Ganga), Source – Report “Water Quality Monitoring of Canals” by Central Water Commission

It has proved to be a boon for the western desert area of Rajasthan and has completely changed its social, economic, and environmental landscape. That is why it is called the Maruganga of Rajasthan (Maru = Desert, Ganga = A famous holy river in India). Despite the multi-benefits of Maruganga; relying on it as a source of drinking water comes with its own challenges:

  • It is a surface water source – According to WHO/UNICEF JMP; a canal is categorized as surface water source and by the nature of its construction it does not adequately protect the water source from outside contamination, in particular with faecal matter
  • It is microbiologically contaminated – As per BIS 10500:2012, E. coli or thermotolerant coliform bacteria shall not be detectable in any 100 ml sample of water intended for drinking. However according to a report “Water Quality Monitoring of Canals” published by Central Water Commission in Aug, 2020 the water in the canal was found to not meet the drinking water quality standards set by Bureau of Indian Standards. This indicates the presence of animal or human waste in the water of Maruganga. 

Planned Impact of My Bikepacking Expedition

My bikepacking expedition is directly catering to SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation. Planned impact of my expedition include:

  • Documentation – I assume that the rural communities adjacent to Maruganga depend on it directly for their drinking water needs. I will document this dependence. The document will act as a reference for organizations working in WASH sector to take required action

  • Consumption of safe drinking water – I will treat water using the portable point of use water filter that I will be carrying with me. Additionally, I welcome offering of treated drinking water by rural communities along the planned route

  • Climate friendly and self-supported bikepacking expedition –Use of my pedal powered bike, tent, portable solar panel, portable cooking stove and my self-determination make this expedition fully self-supported and climate friendly. Additionally, I welcome support from rural communities, organizations working in the region and my bikepacking friends along the planned route

  • Inspire the bikepacking community – Through this expedition, I want to inspire other Bikepackers from India and the World to take actions under their control. I will inspire other bikepackers to be Hummingbird too.


  • I am grateful to Travel Unity for providing me scholarship under “Discover Your World Travel Scholarship” programme for this expedition. The scholarship amount is USD 100 which will partially cover my expenditure during the expedition

  • I welcome additional sponsorship from organizations working in the WASH and Adventure sector for my impactful bikepacking expedition.

Planned Route

14 thoughts on “Impact On Wheels: My Plans For World Water Day 2023”

    1. Hi Ashutosh

      Thankyou for your appreciation. One of the impacts I aim to achieve through this expedition is to also inspire other Bikepackers in India and the World to do Socially impactful expeditions too. You are free to join my expedition. Feel free to contact at the details mentioned in the Contact section of my blog. Have a good day.

  1. All the best Utkarsh. May your bike packing journey ispire more people towards health, fitness and safe water usage.

  2. This is so great, you were able to combine your passion. I am really proud of you!

    Hope you stay hydrated on your journey 🙂

  3. Hope this would be a grand kickstart to the wonderfull journey ahead.
    Stay safe , stay healthy and cheers to all the bikepackers.

  4. Great cause, I hope you have an amazing experience and manage to create the impact that you intend to bring. All the best

  5. Hey Utkarsh, this is great to see you are following your passion combining with great work!
    Would love to read more about your expeditions and wish you good luck!
    Stay safe and healthy!

    1. Thanks a lot Jyoti. Yes you are right my mind, heart and muscles all are in sync for this expedition and others to come. Blogs will be out soon. Thanks a lot for your wishes.

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