How this Bengaluru biker community is riding together for social causes
Pursuing your dreams while contributing to society is an unmatchable feat. But that is something on the minds of a group of biking enthusiasts who want to change the world for the better.
Bengaluru-based Bros on Wheels is a community of over 60 bikers, who formed the group on June 21, 2018, which also happens to be World Motorcycle Day.
The group was founded by three people – Sujith Kumar, Captain; Sunith Kumar, CFO; and Roshan Ramesh, Community Lead. The core team also includes two other members – Mohammed Zaffir, who handles the events, and Basavaraj, who handle the logistics.
The core team
The community has three main factions – BroFast Rides which focuses on short, monthly, breakfast rides; the longer EPIC rides that take about two to five days and cover the longer distances; and BroCode.
Through BroCode, a unique campaign of the organisation, the fellow bikers give back to the community. This faction was particularly inspired by a tragic event that shook India in 2019 – the Pulwama attack.
“One of the victims of the attack was a soldier who hailed from Karnataka. So, to support his family back in Mandya, Karnataka, we raised money and gave it to the family. That’s when it hit us that we could be doing more as bikers,” Sujith tells SocialStory.
Since then, Bros on Wheels has made it a point to work towards social causes.
“With our motto of ‘Be Good, Do Good’, we also ensure that all our team members are aligned to this thought,” says Sunith.
No Shave Novembers
The month of November is huge for the community, when they religiously follow the ‘No Shave November’ rule. But beyond the unkempt beards, members pool in all the money they save on grooming and set it aside for a cause. This is not just limited to only members of the group, but also others who have dropped the razors as well.
“Once we collect the money that comes in through these donations, we donate it to an institution working to help cancer patients,” says Sujith.
In fact, in 2019, they raised about Rs 4.5 lakh and organised a cultural event at Karunashraya, an institute that takes care of cancer patients in their final stage. Bros on Wheels invited many colleges to perform for these patients. The staff members also joined in and put up their own performances.
“Not only did we conduct the fest, but we also distributed modern-day grooming kits to the staff members of Karunashraya,” says Sunith.
Samiksha Foundation is a learning centre at Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology Cancer Research, Bengaluru. The centre helps children with cancer get back to their studies while they are undergoing treatment.
However, the lockdown has not been easy on these children, as is the situation for most school-going kids. To resolve the problem, the team came together to bring the learning to these children.
Celebrating No Shave November with Karunashraya
“In 2020, we raised over Rs 3.3 lakh, procured digital tablets, and provided them to about 50 children with cancer through the Samiksha Foundation,” says Roshan.
The funds were mostly raised through the crowdfunding platform Milaap, and some of the causes were funded by organisations like KPMG and Country Delight, and supported by institutions like Christ University. However, these funds are not utilised for personal biking trips, which are self-funded.
World Motorcycle Day
Every year on World Motorcycle Day celebrated on June 21, which also happens to be their anniversary, the bikers come together for a social cause.
“In 2019, we came together for a seed bombing activity, and dispersed clay covered seeds along the ride to KGF,” says Sujith.
In 2020, the bikers got together and painted the walls of the Vijayanagar Metro Station in association with Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology.
Painting the walls of Vijayanagar Metro Station
This year, too, the community conducted a huge on-ground and virtual event to honour the unsung heroes of our country.
To honour policemen working continuously to ensure people are safe, and that the lockdown protocols are followed, the volunteers of Bros on Wheels distributed tender coconut drinks to over 2,000 policemen at more than 33 police stations in Bengaluru on June 21.
“We also hosted a grand virtual, digital salute to pay tributes for their hard work,” says Sujith.
Challenges and the road ahead
One of the main challenges is that there are times when not all the members are part of the rides and events, which leads to an increase in the workload of the volunteering team. Despite that, the team still makes sure to gauge their efforts to the seeing the success of the cause.
“For us, it’s not just about the rides and bikes, but also about the social causes that define us. It’s really this aspect that separates us from other communities like ours,” says Sunith.
The group distributed tender coconut drinks to policemen in Bengaluru
For the road ahead, the team wants to further empower the cancer cause, raise more money for the same, and extend benefits to more people.
“Our focus areas may expand to creating cancer awareness to more rural areas. We also want to grow as a team and reach out to more people who can relate to our cause and get them on board,” says Roshan.