Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan flags off the Ride in support para-athletes

Hyderabad, 22nd December 2021: Aditya Mehta Foundation is hosting its signature ride, the 7th edition of The Infinity Ride 2021, with the theme ‘Say No to Drugs’; from Hyderabad to Gokarna in Karnataka. Hon’ble Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, Governor of Telangana and Lt. Governor of Puducherry; flagged off the ride today from the AMF Infinity Para Sports Academy & Rehabilitation Centre, Rasoolpura. Also present on the occasion were Actress Ms Lakshmi Manchu; Ms Shilpa Reddy, Trustee AMF & Ex Mrs. India & Entrepreneur; Mr Shobu Yarlagadda, Trustee AMF & Producer of Bahubali movie; Shri SK Joshi, Trustee AMF & Advisor to Govt. of Telangana; Shri Dr Jitendra Goel, IPS, ADG Law & Order; Shri Mutha Ashok Jain, IPS, DDG, NCB and Aditya Mehta, Founder, AMF.

The ride had a colourful start with Ms Lakshmi Manchu and Ms Shilpa Reddy, joining it for some distance. The others including cyclists from the Telangana Police, Narcotics Control Bureau, Karnataka Police; Indo-Tibetan Border Police; members of the Indian para cycling team and amateur cyclists, will ride the distance of 650 plus kilometres to Gokarna on the coast of the Arabian sea. 

Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan, addressing the gathering said, congratulate Aditya Mehta for choosing the theme of ‘Say no to drugs’ for this year’s run. This run is going to cover 660 kms in six days. My message to the youngsters is, proper use of drug for illness leads to health and drug abuse will create illness and lead to death. As doctors we use drugs to save lives while youngsters use it in a wrong way, get addicted to it, which leads to death, so please say no to drugs. Drugs may give temporary happiness but permanent illness. Drugs impact your mental attitude, physical wellbeing leading to mental and physical illness. Whatever talent you have is engulfed by the drugs and projects you as a bad character. I am very unhappy with the drug rackets, luckily huge amounts of drugs have been caught by the police and prevented these drugs reaching the youth. One should quit drugs permanently, since it’s not an easy task, I appeal  to the Government to open deaddiction centres in all the Government hospitals. We can advise the youth to not to use, but what do we do with children already addicted to it, they are unable to reveal the matter to the parents, the teachers, but we need to save them, we must handle them very cautiously, we shouldn’t blame them, they became addicts without an intention. The Government, Society, the NGOs, Celebs should convey a strong message against drug abuse. The message from an actor is heard by many more people than from a Governor. The issue of great concern off late is the drug abuse starting at the school level itself and we need to address it with all sincerity. The para athletes here are an inspiration to the able bodied individuals, despite the challenges you have, you are on a Cycle ride to spread the message on drug abuse.       

Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF), besides proactively promoting para-sports, is adopting children with disability to train them in para-sports and groom them into prospective para-Olympians for the country. The AMF raises funds though this signature fund raising Infinity Ride and enjoys the support of several celebrities like Lakshmi Manchu and Shilpa Reddy; says Aditya Mehta, Founder, AMF, India’s first-ever para cyclist and a Limca Book of World Records holder.

Ms Shilpa Reddy said, since 2013 the Aditya Mehta Foundation has been helping athletes with disability to pursue sports and they have won several laurels at national and international arena. The Foundation works closely with the Central Armed Police forces and are proud to say that we were the ones who introduced parasports to CAPR. Our aim is to empower, encourage and train more para-athletes in sports. We have been helping over thousand people by providing them prosthetic limbs, sports equipment, specialised sports wheel chairs, footing their travel and other expenses for participating in national and international tournaments. Not to forget, we also give counselling to push the barriers they all face. It is with immense satisfaction we say that we helped more than thousand para-athletes with their requirements, besides sponsorships, scholarships and financial assistance. AMF won more than 120 international medals in various championships. Our theme for this Ride, besides Say no to drugs, is to adopt children with disability, to train them in parasports. The Telangana Police, Narcotics Control Bureau, Karnataka Police and Indo-Tibetan Border Police are taking part in this ride. AMF raises funds though this signature Infinity Ride and with the help of several celebrities. AMF founder Aditya Mehta is India’s first-ever para cyclist and a Limca Book of World Records holder.        

Ms Lakshmi Manchu said, the para-athletes here inspire us by pushing the boundaries that we ourselves can’t accomplish in our regular day. I did 100 kms cycling to raise funds for AMF this year and it exceeded the amount we wanted to raise. I thank all my friends and donors for the support. There is no stopping to a human mind, you want to do something and your body and mind will take you there, you just need to be committed. All of you, each time you do Infinite ride you accomplish and show how beautifully it can be done.

Shri Mutha Ashok Jain said, as part of the Drug free India campaign inspired by our Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Mr Narendra Modi, Narcotics Control Bureau is launching and  participating in various awareness programs across the country against abuse of drugs. We believe sports is a powerful medium and an important intervention to provide an alternative means, motivate the youth to keep away from drugs and channelise them with positive thoughts. We are availing this Ride to propagate our message of say No to Drugs and Say yes to life. This event is also an opportunity to support the para-athletes who are part of this ride. All along the ride we will be strongly conveying the message against drug abuse.

The Infinity Ride is being pursued by some of the stalwart para-cyclists including Prakhar Sharma, a green belt in martial arts, bronze medal in table tennis and state level clusters in basketball, despite suffering from cerebral palsy and is paralyzed on the right side, making him 70% disabled in medical terms; Aryavardan, an above knee amputee and the world’s youngest para-mountaineering to scale Mount Bhagirathi – 2 up to 18000 ft; Shaik Arshad, a champion para-athlete, 4th in Asian Para Road Cycling Championship, para-mountaineer of Mt. Bhagirathi 18,000 ft, keen sportsman in archery, taekwondo, swimming, wheelchair fencing, para-triathlon and para-cycling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari; Aditya Mehta, an above knee amputee who won Double Silver medals in Para-Asian Cycling Championship, he has 5 Limca Book of records in cycling to his credit, completed ​100 km bicycling in 3hr 3min 40sec in 2015, making it the best time by far in Limca Book of Records, holds Limca records for Cycling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Manali to Khardung La; Venu international medallist , who won silver medal in the discus throw at 4th china open athletic championships 2016 ipc athletics grand prix, Silver medal in ipc international athletics grand prix-2014, held at Tunisia, 6th position in discus throw at Asian Para games- 2014 held at Incheon, South Korea, Gold Medal at Haryana Junior National Championship discus throw, gold medal in discus throw in Indian open Para athletic championship-2018 held at Bangalore and many more; Alok Mandal has to his credit more than 50 National & International medals, 2 times bronze medalist at Asian cycling championship, 32 national medals in Swimming, 4 nationals medals in Volleyball,Waterflow – 6 gold medals in National Waterflow,  3 national medals in football and also rode during infinity ride Manali to Khardungla, Delhi to Wagha border, Hyderabad to Tirupati; Mala Abhishek: an IAS aspirant pursuing BA LLB.,participated in National level kabaddi in 2018, National level chess in 2018 and Mahesh Yadav, an ITBP officer,who got paralysed in the line of duty,is a Cyclist, swimmer, badminton player and excels in all the sports.

The detailed schedule and route for the ride is as follows:

  • 22nd December – Hyderabad to Mahabubnagar – 107 kms
  • 23rd December – Mahabubnagar to Raichur, Karnataka – 107 kms
  • 24th December – Raichurto Sindhanur – 99 kms
  • 25th December – Sindhanurto Koppal – 95 kms
  • 26th December – Koppal to Hubli– 120 kms
  • 27th December – Hubli to Gokarna– 150 kms

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 2024 Paralympics.

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