With a view to making people aware of the need to protect forests and their inhabitants, two youths Rikjyoti Singha Roy, 23, and Sunil Kumar Thakur, 27 residents of Sliguri and Bagdogra respectively, have reached the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) in Alipurduar district after riding 225 km on their bicycles.

The duo started their journey from the Bagdogra forests range and reached the BTR headquarters in Alipurduar town on Thursday, it is learnt.

The BTR authorities welcomed the duo with flowers. “The boys did a good job. We greeted them with flowers. Creating awareness on the need to protect forests and wildlife is the need of the hour. We thank them a lot,” said the Deputy Field Director of the BTR, Kalyan Rai.

The duo had to cross the Baikunthapur forest, Gorumara National Park and Jaldapara National Park to reach the BTR. They started their journey on 20 March, and while on their way to the tiger reserve, they met people and made them aware of the forests and their resources.

The duo organised meetings and distributed leaflets on the importance of forests and forest lives, it is learnt. Oneof the cyclists, Mr Roy said he and his friend drew inspiration from Rathindra Nath Das, who travelled all over India on his motorcycle with the same messages.

“We met Mr Das on his motorcycle in Siliguri town in 2017. From that day, we have decided to spread awareness about the forests and the ones living in there. We finally gave our best,” said Mr Roy.