Two Bangaloreans are on a cycling mission to support differently-abled childrenHema Vaishnavi
Anant and Mahendra cycled from Bengaluru to Nagaur to raise funds for a school that teaches differently-abled kids.
This is the story of Anant Trivedi, an engineer-turned-businessman, but it is through his love for cycling that one can aptly describe him. Thirty-one-year-old Anant started cycling in late 2011 for health reasons, which soon turned into a passion over the years. He says,
“Initially, I just wanted to lose some weight and get fit. So I used to cycle for reasons that had to do with my health. But after a year of cycling, I heard about the race, Mountain Biking Himalaya, and I decided to take part in the amateur category. Surprisingly, I secured fourth place in the race and there was no turning back since then.”
Anant has taken part in various marathons and races as he kept his love for cycling going through rigorous practice.
Journey from Bengaluru to Nagaur
Anant met Mahendra Bhaskar, a 24-year-old techie at the yearly Bicycle Championship race in Bengaluru. The two cyclists regularly meet up as part of Rockriders, a bicycling group. Although they have been cycling together since they met, this time they had a cause. Anant and Mahendra started on a nine-day journey from Bengaluru to Kota and Nagaur to raise funds to help two differently-abled children from Nutan Prabhat Seva Sansthan, Nagaur, for their education and basic amenities.
The journey, which is about 2,200 kilometres, started on October 20, 2016. Along the way, they made halts at major cities like Anantpur, Hyderabad, Nanded, Khandwa, and Indore. During these halts, the duo spread awareness on their cause and started raising funds for the school for differently-abled children.
On the trip, Anant says, “A lot of donations came our way because of this trip. The experience was great. People were very generous and many offered us food and shelter when they learnt about our cause.”
Cycling for a cause
Anant and Mahendra are raising funds for Nutan Prabhat Seva Sansthan, a school for differently-abled children in the city of Nagaur, Rajasthan. The school, which accommodates 48 kids, provides free education to all of them.
Mahendra, who hails from the city of Nagaur identified the school and decided to help after he learnt that the school is running short of funds. Most of the families work for daily wages and find it difficult to look into their children's education. This school, therefore, is their only means to getting an education.
Anant and Mahendra are running a crowdfunding campaign to raise the needed funds for the school as they hope to see the school function better in the coming days.
The campaign particularly aims to help Babulal, who is speech-impaired and Modnath, who is visually-challenged, at least till they complete their higher secondary schooling. They are currently studying in Class IV and their parents are unable to afford their education expenses along with their daily expenses. Anant explains,
“These kids need help in many ways than just monetary help. I felt that such a journey would make the effort of the management known to people and would bring about an understanding to the society of what kind of help it can provide to such causes. I have been receiving calls till now about the school and many people want to contribute.”
A cyclist in the making
An engineer by training, Anant ventured into the food business and opened a restaurant in Bengaluru. But his love for cycling kept drawing him back and he decided to start travelling the country on his bicycle. Anant, who now swears by his bicycle, plans to work for causes in the near future. He wants to cycle for causes such as body organ donation in the coming days. He wishes to encourage others to cycle for a cause as well as do it on a daily basis.
“I see people using cars and motorcycles just to cover short distances. If we can inculcate the habit of cycling in our daily lives, it will soon be used extensively over the years,” says Anant.