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36 cities, 45 days, 3,000+ km: Para-cyclists ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari

36 cities, 45 days, 3,000+ km: Para-cyclists ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari

The Bridge Desk

Published: 1 Jan 2021 5:55 AM GMT

A month-and-a-half back when the country was still coming to terms with the devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic, a para-cycling team led by India’s first ever para-cycling international medallist, Aditya Mehta started a bicycle ride from Kashmir. The 30 member team finally finished their ride after 45 days, braving the deadly virus as they reached Kanyakumari yesterday.

Known as Infinity Ride K2K 2020, this expedition was a brain child of the Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) and was started with a mission to raise funds and awareness regarding para-sports in India.

“I had cycled the same terrain all by myself six years ago in 2013 where I had faced immense challenges both mentally and physically but the love and support that I had received from everyone on my way back then gave me the confidence to start Aditya Mehta Foundation. And now after so many years of our initiatives, my strong 30-member riding team embarked on this difficult journey despite the severe challenges of the pandemic. We hope our awareness ride will encourage people to join and support our mission to find India's best para sporting talents. We are glad that people have shown unconditional love towards us in our long journey. My aim is to groom champions so that they can play for India and become heroes," said Aditya Mehta, founder of Aditya Mehta Foundation.

After travelling through 36 cities across the country, the cyclists concluded their journey at the historic Vivekananda Rock Memorial where they were welcomed by personnel of Defence and Central Armed Police Forces.

The sixth edition of Infinity Ride was flagged off on November 19 from Srinagar and had the cyclists interacting with various NGOs, specially-abled schools while also connecting over virtual meetings to explain and spread awareness regarding para-sports amongst people and how it has changed their lives.

The Border Security Force (BSF) was the first organisation that believed in the cause from the very beginning and supported AMF and Infinity Ride since its inception in 2013 and later Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) also joined hands for this cause.

The Infinity Ride K2K 2020 was led by Asian para-cycling championship bronze medallist Harinder Singh, Asian Games track cycling bronze medallist Gurlal Singh – both of whom had lost their limb at the frontline while defending the country at the borders. They were accompanied by India’s only female para cyclist, Tanya Daga, and others.

Also read: Cyclist Mahitha Mohan – A national champion in multiple road, track, and mountain bike events

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