“Sports has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. Sports can create hope, where once there was only despair. A sport has the power to end discrimination and create a world where no one is left behind.”

This philosophy of Nelson Mandela was put into action.

Tandem Cycling event was organized by ‘Spin for support’ by Tanay Mehta, in association with Dr. Palep’s Total Health Clinic and Adventure Beyond Barriers Foundation on May 28th, 2023.

17-year old Tanay Mehta is on a mission to empower people with disabilities using his favourite activity which is cycling. An avid cyclist who has biked within India and Europe, he decided to collaborate with ABBF (Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation) and Dr. Paleps Total Health Clinic to create a unique cycling initiative – Spin for Support.

Tanay Mehta on his road bike.

The primary goal of the event was to raise funds to support and to involve the visually impaired to experience the joy of cycling with Mumbai cyclists. Tanay has been actively raising funds required to maintain the fleet of tandem bicycles. His goal is to raise INR 80,000 which will help cover the cost of maintenance of the tandem bicycles. He has already raised INR 60,000 and continues to work on reaching his goal of 80K.

The ride started from NAB (National Association for the Blind) Worli, Mumbai to NCPA and ended at Sobo Central mall at Chaos Control Cafe for Chai and breakfast and an interaction amongst the visually impaired and the Cyclists.

This event was organized by Dr Reshma Palep who is an eminent Breast Cancer Surgeon, who has been conducting cancer awareness and support programmes. She is also one of the co-founders of the all women cycling group “The Cyclistas” that conducts Cyclothons. She actively works for social causes and believe that the power of cycling can change lives.

Flag off was done by Dr. Viswanathan Iyer who is now taking on a new responsibility of Bicycle Mayor of Mumbai. He is a brilliant Neurosurgeon (Brain and Spine Surgeon) who rides to work “Cycle chala city bacha” (ride a bicycle and save the city) and also has done many long distance rides in various regions of India.

The Guest of Honour was Mrs. Harshita Narwekar, Environment Advocate and Corporator, MCGM. She gave an excellent speech on fitness and environment and promised all help for such activities in the future.

Mrs. Harshita Narwekar receiving a memento by Dr. Reshma and Dr. Vishwanathan. Photo credit: Harsh.

Awards were given to Hearing impaired cyclists and special gifts were given to Visually impaired cyclists.

This program was an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to break free from the isolation and exclusion that often comes with their condition. Through tandem cycling, our riders build confidence, form meaningful friendships, and shatter stereotypes. Our captains gain a new perspective on the world and develop empathy for those with disabilities.

However, ABBF need your help to keep this program going. They are a non-profit organization and rely on the generosity of donors like you to maintain our fleet of tandem bicycles.

Manoj from NAB receiving mementos on behalf of the visually impaired cyclists. Photo credit: Harsh.


Follow this blog on facebooktwitter or instagram

Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai

I will appreciate your comments