Jagruti Viraj Hogale died this Sunday in a horrific road accident caused by the elements of a truck, a pothole, and a highway, all combined into one. Only 34 years old, she leaves behind a beloved husband and her 9-year-old son.
The group ‘Bikerni Motorcycle Club’ is the first Indian female-only motorcycle group, whose aim is the empowerment of women through riding. Founded by Urvashi Patole in the month of January 2011, Hogale was an avid member and supporter of the group and its beliefs. Group members have termed her as being one of the most active members involved, making several amazing trips to Leh and Ladakh on her motorbike.
Similarly, she and her other two friends had all the intentions of making the bike ride from Bandra to Jawhar an amazing experience, but poorly kept roads and poorly made decisions had other plans for Hogale specifically. Overtaking a truck to find a pothole, caught her off-guard and resulted in her swerving towards the left in order to avoid a pothole but not the incoming truck she just overtook. The fatality that occurred after that is what leaves bikers and their vast community in tears at this moment, as they look towards social media platforms to make their voices heard about the ill-kept roads and the maintenance that they clearly are lacking.
Bikers around the country blame the government, more specifically the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, or the BMC as it is more commonly known, for not maintaining the roads in a proper manner, while Kasa Assistant Police Inspector Jayprakash Gute gives a statement in which he says that the Hogale case will be registered under section 304 (a) (Negligent Driving), and goes on to say that Hogale should have shown better judgement while driving. While the bikers are right, Inspector Gute is also not wrong, but nonetheless, the BMC is under a lot of apparent pressure from the public.
Being known as an inspiration to not only women but the entire motorcycle community, this is a loss whose stab will not go numb anytime soon in the hearts of bike lovers and riders all over the country. A loved wife, a caring mother, and a passionate bike rider, Jagruti Viraj Hogale will be remembered and missed. God rest her soul.