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Thursday, October 5, 2023

The THUGs Drive Expeditions For A Cause

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Why do people travel?

Because they crave Wanderlust. Some feel life is a highway. For some, it is therapy while some dare to live the life they wanted. Every travel experience leaves them with stories to tell, not stuff to show. Tata Harrier Unified Group (THUG) – The THUG Group.

Travel teaches you a little about the world and a lot about yourself. Getting lost is the best way to find ourselves.

And yes!, the THUG members found their calling through travel.

Read the SalamatRaho stories in the link below:



The THUG group – better known as The THUG FAMILY – an evolved group from Tata Harrier Unified Group to The HUNK Unified Group.

Agnelo Rodriguez, a prime member of the THUG core team says, “Our VALUE lies in our SOUL identity, where we REACH OUT to support, care, strengthen the society through our small initiatives with “DRIVE with a CAUSE”.

Fascinating concept of getting together all THUG vehicle owners under one umbrella, to bond as a FAMILY and fulfill their passion to drive into the wild, together, as a large cavalcade.

Drive safe. Drive as a group, as a solo driver, or as families in your Harrier. Drive to exotic locations covering all possible adventures and experiences. And…driving for a cause, a purpose. This is what makes the THUG Family…different!

All with similar mindsets and the thrill of adventure.

Agnelo continues to share his passionate story of how it all began.

“It was during the 1st frightful wave of Covid ’19 when the cases were low and the Fear was high. I had just bought my Harrier in Dec 2019 and before I knew it and was just about beginning to love the drives, lockdown kicked in and we were all confined to our homes.”

During the lockdown, being active on social media and joining various groups was a common feature. Agnelo joined the various Tata Harrier groups just to keep in touch with other owners. There was so much negativity about the vehicle, life, and fear of Covid. The active members committed to bringing in a positive life in an extremely negative, fearful atmosphere of COVID, which each one was experiencing. The idea got initiated to form one common group on Telegram through a majority vote and THUG (then Tata Harrier Unified Group) was born.

2020-Inception of the THUG group – with a purpose.

In just over two years, they have a group of 2100 plus enthusiastic and passionate Tata Harrier and Safari owners. All with a similar dream to drive, explore and share.

Agnelo explains sensitively,” we utilized the lockdown period to keep all engaged by bringing everybody together, speaking on our common passion for the vehicle, designing our THUG merchandise, helping business networking, supporting each other with new business opportunities within the community and with a vision to be on drives, connecting, living life on our terms by doing what we know best – DRIVE! “

Most people assume that people who have this traveling bug or of owning such vehicles are either moneyed retired generation or those who have ample free time on their hands. No! … That is a misconception.

The THUG Group

The THUG group comprises simple job holders, corporate leaders, individual businessmen, IT professionals or consultants, doctors or engineers doing their civil duties, etc. These are people with families and responsibilities. They have EMIs to pay or loans to cover, yet, they all have passion. Passion to travel and live life on the edge.

Daily life is a mundane routine that all have to go through. Yet, members of the THUG team are dreamers and aspire to fulfill their bucket lists.

They are not some adventure sports people or great trekkers or car racing fanatics. They are simple people with simple dreams but with great vision. So, what they do is nothing impossible, yet meaningful.

They are the kind of people who believe that Jobs fills the pocket, adventures fill the soul.

They are all full-time working people, yet, they have realized the importance of taking time out to invest in your dreams too. It’s family time. Bonding time.

Few people do not understand the value of this investment because their priorities are not in place. This investment of time and emotions has long-term reaps.

The THUG’s Meaningful Drive

The THUG group’s mission is to travel in a group, under supervised conditions, to explore unexplored regions of India and at the same time make the journey meaningful by adding a cause, and a purpose to this exercise.

The group is divided into 5 Chapters – North, South, East, West & Central. Each chapter has identified working committee members as representatives of the others who cannot give time to planning. The teams conceptualise & plan together, which sector or route they would choose. Then detailed research and planning starts till confirmations are received. Once they know the total number of cars joining that trip, and the number of participants, they move ahead to plan the exact detailed trip itinerary, accommodations in the route, meals, etc. local sightseeing, and maximum utilization of time, are taken care of.

Now, what makes this THUG team trip different, is their focus on selecting a social endeavor as part of their tour. They source various NGOs working in that route and try connecting with them in advance to check requirements.

In Agnelo’s words, “Every drive has a purpose, a theme to bring in that human connection. Reaching out with a social responsibility to give what we have – our time and love. But before we could Add Value to others, it was important to Add Value to ourselves. Because you cannot give what you do not have”.

The initial trips were short ones, to test the waters and understand the mindset of the members.

Breakfast, Weekends drives were followed by the BIG ones – long drives from Delhi to Jaisalmer (THUGs DUNE BASH), the dream of dream drives – Ladakh Expedition 2021, Jungle Safari in Ranthambore -“Rumble in the Jungle 2021”, Goa Expedition 2022 – “Sun Kissed in Goa 2022”.

Each trip was a lesson to learn from. Usually, they drive together with 30/40 Tata Harriers. It is not easy to manage meeting up in one common place when the cars are joining in from all parts of the country. The day of meeting at the start location has to match up correctly else the whole tour will get delayed so minute planning is required. There could be 100 to 150 members in one trip so every possible health and safety care needs to be covered. Emergency medical kits, meal kits, and vehicle safety measures have to be taken. At times, there are also young children who accompany their parents. What a wonderful way to spend time together. Quality lifestyle.

As some say, “Goal is to die with memories not dreams.”

There are times when glitches do come up despite this extreme planning. Cars may get stuck up, or have some issues with spare parts. But when the attitude is positive, every issue can be resolved. This is a huge learning for each member, to cooperate, coordinate and be sensitive to the other’s needs also. Most of the time, there is an emergency support vehicle that accompanies them with all necessary fuel stocks and spare parts, and technicians.

“When you’re on the open road, there’s no such thing as an inconvenience, only a surprise adventure.” 

‘THUGs with a Soul’ as they call themselves, is for the vision and mission they follow. They believe that it is extremely important to connect with the locals while they travel. That is the best way to understand the actual culture and customs of the region. To leave their footprints behind and to show their gratitude, they reach out to the local orphanage or school or old age home, etc, and share whatever they can, to build a bridge.

THUGs NORTH –  1st REACH OUT DRIVE –  A small initiative with a BIG impact, warm clothes (new & old – well dry cleaned & packed) were distributed to a few identified slumps in Delhi NCR. 

THUGs WEST – THUGS Pune and PCMC started a new initiative “Drive for a Cause”. Pune first started by contributing in a small way towards their cause of providing the essentials like food grain, bedsheets, clothes, food, Adult diapers, sanitizers, Dettol, etc to the Old People Blind Home and the Old age home. They did a FundRaising and contributed a good sum towards essential groceries for 100 families.

Mumbai THUG Group (MHO Cares) has been doing an amazing job, especially during the Lockdown period.

MHO Cares (Mumbai Harrier Owners) also a part of THUG Western Chapter have been taking gigantic strides in their approach, by reaching out to the many slum areas in Mumbai city.

So The THUGs travel with a purpose. Apart from exploring the regions, connecting with the locals, experiencing different cuisines, and helping out locally by doing workshops, they leave a sweet memory behind by financially supporting some local initiates and NGOs. That is why the THUGS are riders with tough vehicles but caring hearts.

This is a huge new outlook they are bringing in, in the way people travel these days and helping to bring about a small change in their way- a way to travel and build a connection wherever they go.

Contact details-

Agnelo Rodriguez

email: [email protected]

Insta page: @harrier_aboveall

Youtube : THUGFamily2020 


[email protected]

What is SalamatRaho?

Team NomadLawyer’s ambition is to positively impact the world through the stories of HumanKind. We believe in the art of storytelling. Through “Salamat Raho ”, we are creating a database for social good in the form of “Impact Stories”, which will help us achieve our goal and reach out to the world at large. By contributing through your stories and experience you create a significant impact on the community and an exceptional experience for yourself. 

Visit the NomadLawyer portal at www.nomadlawyer.org  and you can also get in touch with us at [email protected]

Hashtag #SalamatRaho for the series.

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