The first person, who I thought would be remotely interested, was Ishani Sawant. A 23 year old adventure enthusiast and a mountaineer, who had achieved a lot at her age! She was just a superb choice I thought.
I contacted Ishani, who agreed to go with me. She then contacted Prerna. They both were in. I started give them tasks like planning the route, working with and optimizing the route, making a what-to-carry list etc.
These two young and budding mountaineers were in for the entire leg of the journey.
I contacted Sanaya, who in turn, contacted Subhadra. Subhadra was in but Sanaya was out. Sanaya worked with teachforindia.org. Subhadra, once upon a time, also worked with teachforindia.org. Subhadra turned out to be resourceful and helpful as the planning phase and the description of the journey evolved. She was in for the entire leg of the journey.
I contacted everyone on my friend list, esp. those who could drive a car and approached them and asked them if they were remotely interested in joining me for the trip.
I had gathered 10 women at the end of it all.
Niketa, I knew from before. She was young and budding entrepreneur and a co-founder of a company called pulse. She had shown interest from day 1. She was just going to do the east coast of the journey.
Sejal, a writer and a home-maker, was a friend of Abhay’s. Abhay was one of Anoop’s many running partners. She was also going to do the east coast of the journey.
Saili was an interesting cat! She was a brilliant historian and an indologist! She dropped out because she had other commitments. She was Abhay’s contact as well.
Swanandi, another friend of Abhay’s, was an actor, but she dropped out too.
Veda, a friend of mine from the music circle, turned out to be very helpful too. She was an excellent classical guitar player. She had worked for the newspapers and she was a good writer too. She made the press kit for the drive. She dropped out but continues to support the drive.
I had met Deepti on Meetup, which was an online platform for people to meet up and discuss a million things. She was also an entrepreneur and a co-founder of a company. She turned out to be very helpful too. She helped out with crucial contacts and also helped write the blog for the culinary treats for every state. She was in for the east coast.
Sumati, a friend of BuffyFish’s website developer, turned out to be resourceful and gave us crucial contacts. She was from Hubli and had shifted base to Pune. She turned out to be helpful too. She was in for the east coast.
Rachita was a friend of Subhadra’s. She helped us with most of the research and she was game for the entire leg of the journey.
Puja has decided to join us again on the west coast. She turned out to be a useful resource too.
And then there was me!
This was the team. 10, raring to go, women!
We were all set!
(Now there is a requirement of 4 more women who can join us on the west coast!)