Pride of the South: Kiwi trio to tuk-tuk across India for farmer mental health

Three New Zealand women are about to embark on an epic fundraising event across India to raise money for a farming mental health programme.

The annual charity 'Rickshaw Run' traverses 3000km from the one end of India to the other, with teams making the journey in seven horsepower tuk-tuks.

Around 80 teams take part in the event, which starts on April 14 and runs until April 27.

Friends Natalie Lindsay, Gina McKenzie and Nikki Brown all work in the rural sector and have chosen Farmstrong, a mental health programme for farmers, as their chosen charity.

On their Givealittle fundraisng page, they said it was an easy decision.

"With all of us growing up in farming families in rural areas, we realise the toll that farming's isolation, stress and unpredictability can take on mental health," they said.

"Between us, we know and respect heaps of people that have chosen farming as their job and livelihood, and we are keen to support them in this way so farmers can feel as comfortable yarning about their mental well-being at the pub as they do discussing how much rain they've had or how the lambing beat is going."

Southland dairy farmer McKenzie told Rural Exchange that they hope to raise as much money as they can through the Givealittle page.

The trio are ready for the challenge.
The trio are ready for the challenge. Photo credit: Supplied

"We have already raised at least $6000, so we are really happy with that," she said.

She said New Zealanders can also follow their journey on their Facebook page 'Pride of the South Rickshaw'.

Watch the video to see Gina McKenzie's full interview with Rural Exchange.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay and Richard Loe, 6-8am Saturday and Sunday on Magic Talk.