The 4th edition of the popular cycling event ‘Ride To MPower’ was held at NSCI Dome Stadium, Mumbai on 17th March, 2019.  ‘Ride To Mpower’ is an initiative by Aditya Birla Capital to raise mental health awareness. A huge crowd of 1600 cyclist’s participated in the cycling rally with great enthusiasm.

The annual cycling event led by Neerja Birla and her team aims to reach out to people with mental limitations and empower them by providing a social platform where they can interact, connect, explore, overcome their fears and feel more confident. A movement driven through cycling, challenges the norms where individuals with mental health problems feel less capable and fear to express themselves; they get a chance to open up and share because – ‘Its Ok Not To Be Ok’. A mental stigma that needs to be wiped out from our society and this can only be achieved through public awareness – #stampoutstigma is the official hashtag for social media campaign.

Ms. Neerja Birla, addressing the crowd

Mpower (Empowering Minds or Mental Empowerment) is about helping individuals to realize their full potential. Every human being on this planet is precious and deserves a chance to blossom and one can excel and perform better in an environment that nurtures creativity and supports talent. Mpower is for combating psychological barriers and boosting confidence using social engagement. The campaign urges to ‘Make Mental Health Your Priority’.

Why did i dress differently? Motor traffic congestion is a form of illness which is paralyzing our cities. Carbon emissions, ruthless driving, unwanted honking and high sound decibels are making matters worse. I cycled for 27 kms in this clothing to silently deliver a message of ‘Cycle2Work’. One can easily cycle in office or casual wear and help our cities become smarter and sustainable.

Mpower cycling rally is an engaging activity and not just a charitable cause. It’s a refreshing platform to evoke intellectual capabilities and even enhance ones leadership qualities. The social event offers an opportunity to get inspired, establish new relationships, make creative breakthroughs and add a new dimension to one’s mundane life.

Cycling has proven benefits  such as health, environment, economical, social, and recreational. Cycling is an incredible way to make new friends and acquire new skills. Meeting new people over a cycle ride can help combat stress, eliminate loneliness and uplift self belief. Thus, events like Ride To Mpower is in investment towards building a healthy society and precisely an assurance ‘I’m Here For You’.

Bicycle Mayor Of Mumbai, Ms. Firoza Suresh was the Ride Director. Ravi Jaiswal, a social activist is supporting Firoza’s vision ‘To make Mumbai the cycling capital of India by 2030’.

The event format is fixed with 3 levels of group cycle rides where participants are allowed to opt from distances of 7 km, 15 km or 27 km as they like. It is not a race but simply a ride with a message where each participant is a winner. At the end of the ride, all cyclist are entitled to receive a medal as a reward.

Prize distribution in progress. People in the crowd flashing their BIB no.’s to get a prize.

This year, there were participants from across cities and some international tourist as well. There were spot prizes given to cyclist in categories such as – the oldest and the youngest cyclist, cyclist who traveled from a different city, a cyclist wearing maximum blue color (Blue being synonymous with Mpower) and a cyclist who has participated in all four editions of Mpower. And than there were more prizes distributed randomly by calling out BIB no’s. To get a prize, we had to raise our hands and hold our BIB no’s as high as possible for the guest on main stage to randomly pick one of us from the crowd. Like last year i was unlucky this year too, maybe i will have to try again next year 🙂

A good way to spend a Sunday morning – Music DJ’s, Dance, Photos, Refreshments, New Connections, Learning’s and Happy Memories!

Few more pictures taken during the event:

Seven year old Aahana confidently completed her 15 km ride. Her Dad, Mr. Sanjay Bhagat supported her in the journey. A cyclist himself, Sanjay cycles to work on Friday’s and is helping her daughter follow his trail and become a cycle2work commuter in the future. When i asked ‘How often she rides? He said on weekends. Aahana quickly interrupted saying ‘I ride everyday’ to which we agreed and appreciated.
Jeffry Jackson aka JJ, is an American who works in the US consulate office in Mumbai. The red color cycle is a ‘Haluzak Recumbent’ which JJ carries world over wherever he goes. The reclined riding  position in a recumbent bike gives an ergonomic advantage and comfort to its user. However, the Haluzak production stopped in the 80’s and JJ is one of the few proud owners of this vintage bike.
A group of local participants lined up for a picture
Crowd cheering for the prize winners
Mr. Shankar Ghadave with his prize which was awarded to him for cycling from Pune to Mumbai specially for this event.
Rental cycles parked after the event



Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

3 thoughts on “RIDE TO MPOWER – 2019

  1. Nicely articulated the entire event in short.
    I believe and much confident, next year your wish will be realized…. 😀

  2. I really missed it this year due to some work appointment in the morning. But will make sure to be part of this next year…Great job Mpower and team.

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