On a mission to raise awareness about para sports in India, Maharashtra’s para cyclist Harshit Mundra alongside country’s only woman para cyclist Tanya Daga and 28 other riders entered the state as the Aditya Mehta Foundation’s (AMF) Infinity Ride 2020 arrived in Nagpur on Saturday.
The sixth edition of the Infinity Ride 2020, which was flagged off from Srinagar on November 19 aims to reach out to para sporting talent from the city to raise awareness. The para-cyclists interacted with the students and scouted talents from the city’s Deaf & Dumb Industrial Institute in Shankar Nagar through a virtual interaction.
“I have been part of all the six Infinity Rides and it’s been an amazing feeling to inspire people with disability while sharing my own journey. Today we visited the Deaf and Dumb Institute here and interacted with so many students which was amazing. Though they were unable to hear us, some of them have already won medals at the national-level. With the help of the teachers we interacted with them and communicated the benefits of professional sports and how they shape these students into players,” Harshit, the 23-year-old engineering student from Pune, who lost his leg in 2014 during a road accident, said.
While the students were explained about the benefits of sports and cycling and how Aditya Mehta Para Infinity Academy and Rehabilitation Center, Asia’s first and a brain-child of Aditya Mehta Foundation, a non-profit organization aids people with disabilities to pursue sports while providing self-sustenance- a message they are spreading while on a mission to cover 36 cities in 45 days during their 3842-km-long challenging journey from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
Highlighting the participation of women in para sports, Madhya Pradesh’s Tanya, who is also India’s only female para cyclist, said: “We don’t see so many women with disabilities participating in sports in our country. The Aditya Mehta Foundation has played a very important role in my life and it has given me a new perspective to look at life. Sports have changed the way my life is—probably better than I used to live before the accident. It’s very important to come out of the comfort zone and chase and live one’s dreams. I hope the school children we visited today will get inspired too,” Tanya, who wants to represent India and win a medal at the international level, said.
Having travelled a 2040-km journey so far, the Infinity Ride 2020 will resume their journey on Sunday to complete the remaining 1802 kms before reaching its destination Kanyakumari on December 31. The Ride will visit two more cities of Maharashtra—Hinganghat, and Karenji—before entering Telangana through Adilabad on December 15.