International Mountain Bike Racers to take the UN Global Goal of Quality Education, 11,000 feet above ground in the Himalayas, as part of an initiative to distribute 17 UN Global Goal Flags to some of the worlds hardest to reach communities


One of the world’s toughest mountain bike challenge and Asia’s oldest MTB Stage Race event, HERO MTB Himalaya 2015, has partnered with the Global Goals campaign to help promote the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development to some of the worlds hardest to reach communities. HERO MTB Himalaya 2015 takes international leading mountain bikers in some of North India’s most arduous and rugged terrains in a grueling seven-day adventure comprising of cycling and hiking across 500km (380 miles) of scenic, unchartered territory, from Shimla to across the Himalayas. The journey flags off during Global Goals campaign week on 27th September till 4rd October 2015.


Conceived by renowned filmmaker and founder of Comic Relief Richard Curtis for the United Nations, the Global Goals campaign aims to reach 7 billion people in 7 days with news of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development (26 September – 2 October 2015). This initiative is supported by a variety of existing campaigns, including Project Everyone, action/2015 and Global Citizen. This unprecedented effort – which exists to both make the goals famous and push for their full implementation – will culminate on 25 September at the UN when 193 world leaders will adopt The Global Goals, a series of 17 ambitious targets to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change for everyone by 2030.The partnership between the Global Goals campaign and HERO MTB Himalaya 2015 will bring together their vision of promoting the sustainability of local communities and ecological preservation.

HERO MTB Himalaya 2015 is a strategic partner for a unique initiative being launched to help promote the UN Global Goals to some of the worlds hardest to reach communities. UNDP are raising flags in 109 countries, hoisting them at UNDP Social Goods Summits around the world including in Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire, Finland, Haiti, Japan, Madagascar, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. In addition 17 flags representing the 17 global goals are being raised in iconic locations from Moscow’s Red Square to Sydney’s Harbour Bridge and in communities that stand to benefit the most from the implementation of the Global Goals, from the Za’tatari Refugee Camp in Jordan to Lira Town in Northern Uganda.

In India, the Global Goals flag for Goal 4: Quality Education will be hoisted at one of the highest points in the race at Jalori Pass which is at 3250m above sea level in the Himalayas. One of the cyclists leading the flag raising activity will be Shachi Somani, the only Indian female cyclist competing in the challenge. She says: “I am so proud to be playing my part in the Global Goals campaign by taking the United Nations’ Global Goal flag for Quality Education, to one of the world’s hardest to reach and most rugged areas, as part of the Hero MTB Himalaya 2015.

As the only Indian woman to be participating in the race this year, I feel particularly passionate about the Global Goal to promote education, as it is through giving everyone equal access to a good basic education that we empower society to overcome such obstacles as gender inequality. It is only through education that we can mobilize society, inspire individuals to achieve their full potential, and therefore help to break the cycle of inequality and discrimination for all. After all, as they say – ‘knowledge is power’.”

Speaking about the partnership with the Global Goals Campaign, Mr Pankaj Munjal, Chairman and MD, Hero Cycles said, “This is our world and only we are responsible to bring in the change that is needed to eradicate poverty and inequality. Education is the key to the solution and irrespective of our diverse regions and backgrounds, it is imperative for us to come together and ensure availability of quality education to our future generations. We should ensure that every child should have access to good education regardless of his/her economic status, class and location. The UN’s Global Goals campaign has provided a common platform not only to all the leaders of the world but also to the people whom they represent, to not only dream about a better world but also to work towards it by adopting global goals.

We are happy that our riders of Hero MTB Himalaya will be the bearers of the Global Globe flag for the Quality Education taking it to one of the world’s highest and most remote areas in the Himalayas.” During the mountain bike challenge across the Himalayas, mountain bikers will also set up camp sites across remote and scenic locales, visiting over 10 remote local villages and schools to teach children about the importance of the goals.

HASTPA, the parent body behind Hero MTB Himalaya has been educating school students about the benefits of eco-friendly sport of cycling for several years. “We have been supporting and conducting school programs in several states like Delhi, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana for the past few years now and we are honoured to partner with the Global Goals campaign. The riders participating in the race will be significant proponents of the campaign as well, leveraging their global following as sportspersons”, said Mr. Anil Saunlakha, Secretary Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association (HASTPA).


The Global Goals are a plan for everyone, everywhere, with no one left behind, so those raising the flags range from Royalty to Sherpas, refugees and indigenous tribes. Speaking about HERO MTB Himalaya 2015’s support for the campaign, Richard Curtis, Founder of the Global Goals Campaign said:  “The Millennium Development Goals halved extreme poverty across the world. The new Global Goals for Sustainable Development give us the opportunity to end it for good. There’s no point in going half way. By making the Global Goals famous we can give them their best chance of working around the world – and help make us the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality, and the last generation to be threatened by climate change..”

India’s fastest growing celebrity brand HRX, owned by superstar Hrithik Roshan and Exceed Entertainment, is a sponsor of HERO MTB Himalaya. Hrithik is also an international champion of the Global Goals campaign and India ambassador for the World’s Largest Lesson initiative.

Commentating on the partnership between the challenge and the campaign, Hrithik Roshan said: ‘I am thrilled that HRX is a partner with an event that has such strong social responsibility ethics and there is no better project than the Global Goals campaign to align with. We only have one life, one world, one planet, and protecting planet Earth is fundamental to each and every one of our existence. 

International cyclists will be taking the UN Global Goal flag for Quality Education 11,000 feet above ground, reaching several thousand children in remote villages. As a father, I believe that all children should have access to good education and through this education they learn how to take care of themselves and others.  I hope we can educate the masses about this incredible event and initiative and the vast opportunities in our country that allow us to push our limits and defeat defeat’.

In India, the Global Goals campaign is being supported by various NGOs, media houses, organisations and corporates including Reliance Group, the first Global Goals Campaign Partner from India, Tata Group, eBay India, Confederation of Indian Industry, Hello! India Magazine, Yash Raj Films, Magic Bus and Akshaya Patra.