Hyderabad, December 20: It wasn't a usual Sunday morning for the Indian para cyclists and other amateur cyclists who have been part of the Aditya Mehta Foundation's ongoing Kashmir to Kanyakumari Infinity Ride 2020 as the State Governor Hon’ble Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan joined them to flag off the final leg of the ride from Hyderabad to Kanyakumari. Top Telugu film stars also participated in the ride and cycled till the outskirts of the city as a mark of solidarity with the cause.
“I must appreciate Aditya Mehta Foundation for their work. This is the first function I'm attending amid this pandemic and I wanted to attend it to support specially-abled people and today I'm here as their strong supporter. I'm really happy with the arrangements and set up in Academy [Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation Centre] to train these children and people. People with the super ability only want our support, they are more confident than us,” Hon’ble Governor said while flagging off the riders.
The AMF also raises funds through this signature fundraising Infinity Ride, which is in its sixth year now, enjoyed the support of several celebrities like Regina Cassandra, Lakshmi Manchu, Shilpa Reddy and Shobu Yarlagadda--the producer of Bahubaali film and AMF Trustee, who were also present in flagging off the riders.
"I have been associated with the foundation and Infinity Ride since its inception. Am really impressed and motivated with the level of dedication each one of them has shown in these difficult circumstances while riding such distances. I think creating awareness about para-sports is very important as much as supporting them and Aditya Mehta Foundation and Aditya himself is doing everything to make this dream come true of creating heroes for the future,” said actor Regina Cassandra, who accompanied riders from Hyderabad to Mahbubnagar covering 104km distance.
Starting from Hyderabad, the final leg of the Infinity Ride 2020 will see cyclists riding remaining 1279km distance through Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu before completing a 36-city and 45-day journey in Kanyakumari on December 31. While the riders reached Hyderabad after completing an arduous the journey of more than 2500 km starting from Kashmir on November 19, Infinity Ride 2020, a brain-child of Aditya Mehta Foundation, aims to spread awareness about para-sports and scout talent to train and nurture them and prepare to win medals for the country at the international stage.
"We have been receiving good support during our journey from Kashmir and I hope more and more people come forward to join and help us in our mission. I would like to thank Hon’ble Governor of Telangana and Border Security Forces (BSF) for their relentless support in this long and arduous journey," said AMF Founder Aditya Mehta, who is also India's first-ever para cyclist and a Limca Book of World Records holder.
The ride is being pursued by a team of 30 cyclists, including members of Indian para-cycling team, country’s only women para cyclist and other amateurs cyclists who are part of this initiative currently.
About Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF):
“Our vision is to make India a superpower in the world of para-sports.” Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) is a non-profit organisation which aids people with disabilities to pursue a sporting career while also providing them self-sustenance. The Foundation, which started in 2013, has grown by leaps and bounds in the short span of time. Based in Hyderabad, the foundation has managed to span out to virtually every corner of the nation and have contributed in creating para champions who have been winning medals for India. It represents a unique cause and seeks to help a neglected part of a fairly large population.
About Infinity Ride:
The AMF raises funds through its signature Fund-Raising event, the Infinity Ride, and also scouts for talent among the population of people with disability and trains them from the grassroots as well. With the money raised, it also provides counselling and helps them get better at their sport or even find a sport that is suitable for them. It provides the necessary equipment, training and funding for these athletes as well to help them grow in their sport and compete at the International level. Along with the civilian talent, a major part of the foundation’s efforts is directed at finding and nurturing talent from nation’s Central Armed Police Forces (BSF, CRPF and ITBP), which have a number of soldiers who have suffered debilitating or permanent injuries while serving the country at the border or in Naxal-hit areas and now are trained to become potential talents for the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics. In its sixth edition, the upcoming ride will take place from Kashmir to Kanyakumari; traversing 3842 km through difficult and mountainous terrain with support of Border Security Force (BSF) who have partnered and supported AMF to execute the ride. Border Security Force (BSF) was the only organisation who believed in our cause from the very beginning and supported us since the inception of this ride and later Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) also joined hands for this cause.