Four valley cyclists join Kashmir to Kanyakumari 41-day ‘Infinity Ride 2020’

Srinagar: Spearheaded by India’s first para cyclist and Limca Book of Records holder Aditya Mehta, country’s top para cyclists began their ride from Kashmir to Kanyakumari as part of the “Infinity Ride 2020”—a ride that aims to raise awareness and reach out to para talents across the country.

The ride, a brainchild of the Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) and supported by Border Security Force, was flagged off by Rakesh Asthana, Director General BSF, from Dal Lake, Srinagar on Thursday.

Four national-level cyclists from Kashmir, Mushtaq Ahmad, Hilal Ahmad, Hashim Nani and Arif Ahmad also joined the ride to support the cause. The Infinity Ride will go through six districts of Kashmir before entering Jammu on Day 2 on Friday and reaching Punjab on November 21.

“The 2020 edition will be covering 34 cities in 41 days. The Infinity ride, which is in its sixth year, will be led by BSF Jawans Asian Para Cycling Championship bronze medallist Harinder Singh and Asian Games Track Cycling bronze medallist Gurlal Singh. They are not only taking part but also leading the team through a 3801 km long route comprising treacherous mountain terrains as they embark on this strenuous and challenging journey. The journey will end at Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari on December 29,” read an official statement from AMF on Friday.

“I had ridden this route alone seven years back when no one thought it was possible for a person like me to come here and seven years later when I see so many riders alongside me, I believe if one can infuse the spirit of challenging to attempt the unthinkable, everything is possible. At a time like this when the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental and physical fitness of most of us, I hope Infinity Ride 2020 will bear the message of not giving up and the importance of Fit India Movement across the country especially among the para aspirants,” Aditya Mehta, founder of Aditya Mehta Foundation said.

The Infinity Ride aims to discover budding para sporting talent across the country and nurture and prepare them to compete at the highest levels and represent India at the global stage.

The Aditya Mehta Foundation has been relentlessly working with people with disability since its inception in 2013 and now powered with Asia’s first Infinity Para Sports Academy and Rehabilitation centre which was established last year in Hyderabad. AMF envisions to scout and train these talents from grassroots and produce innumerable champions backed with the world class facility needed for para sport persons to excel in various sports.

“India has no dearth of talent. My goal is to scout young talents and train them with the right training and facilities that is needed to become a competitive para athlete with world class abilities. We are hopeful that Infinity Ride 2020 will ensure the required awareness among people and we will be able get many aspirant sports persons who we can work with and make future ready,” Mehta added.

The foundation has 200 beneficiaries who have been given prosthetic limbs and customised adaptive devised for sports activities so far. The AMF backed athletes have also won 90 international medals so far in various para sports and tournaments. The foundation also has successfully touched the lives of more than 1000 injured soldiers and civilians, who have not only been rehabilitated but also motivated to excel as Indian athletes to win laurels for the country.

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 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 3801 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 inception of this ride and later Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) also joined hands for this cause.

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