The second time we met was in the year 1990 when my friends in the NCC decided to trek from Mumbai to Belgaum. We went to him again. We requested him to flag off the trek. He readily agreed.
He briefed us on how to tackle problems that we might face on the way. He talked about team work and bonding among us. He asked us on what we had done about the expenses. We told him that we had collected some money.
We were supposed to start the next day. The starting point was the Tilak Nagar police station. We assembled on time.
Hemant Karkare broke the traditional coconut and flagged us off. But before that he gave us an envelope which we later discovered contained Rs 1000. We were surprised and pleased. The money came in very handy as we had collected only a little.
After that we met him many times, whenever we organised a walkathon or a marathon. Not only did he give us permission immediately but he always provided police bandobast so that the traffic flowed smoothly and we could also compete without any hindrance.
Image: Karkare (circled) flagging off the Mumbai-Belgaum trekking expedition from Tilak Nagar police station in 1990.
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