The world worries about disability. More than disabled people do.
Meet India’s amputee cyclist, Aditya Mehta.
He vividly remembers the day he lost his legs.
A bus accident in Hyderabad left him disabled above knees. Coming from a garment business family, Aditya believed in his mantra to overcome his disability which was his love for cycling. He took up cycling, became a renowned amputee cyclist and later a double silver medalist at Asian Para-cycling Championship in 2013.
He did not take his life for granted. Following his passion, he added a new chapter to his life.
Aditya cycled from Manali to Khardunga La – the world’s highest motor-able road and hoisted our national flag.
And now he has started his journey which he calls ‘Infinity Ride’ of 1450 km from the capital of India to Mumbai to raise funds for para-athletes.
Full of optimism and spirit, he talked about his journey so far in an exclusive interview with CNN-IBN:
‘Though this is not the first time I will ride bicycle without my prosthetic leg, as I did the same during my Bengaluru-Hyderabad ride in 2012. I covered the distance of 540 km in a little over three days, just eight months after I started cycling. I raised Rs 17 lakh then. However, this time the distance is too much. During Delhi-Mumbai attempt, I will ride bicycle 250-270 km a day for six days. I know it’s going to be a tough task, but my aim is to raise funds for other para athletes and I hope my mission will encourage me all the way.’
He started his own organization Aditya Mehta Foundation to raise awareness about the challenges faced by the differently abled and in the process helping the differently abled achieve their dreams.
‘In 2013 I started Aditya Mehta Foundation where the aim of my team is to help para-athletes with equipment, sponsorship for participation in cycling events, motivational talks, diet and many other things. Our vision is to see a bright sporting career for people with disabilities. I believe if I can achieve cycling feats, why can’t others! So I want to help them.’
His foundation provides all support including equipment, coaching, counselling to rehabilitate people and reinstall them into the society.
‘Equipment for a para-cyclist is not cheap. If they are participating in a sport, they need proper diet and expenses to travel to different destinations. We try to raise funds for them. We ride in a team where everyone speaks to people about need for such donations. Raising fund has not been an easy task but we could reach around 21 para athletes and helped them with 24 items, including equipment, sponsorship, travel expenses and prosthetic limbs, etc. It feels good when our sponsored athletes wins competitions and it makes people believe that our every tough ride is for a noble cause.’
A positive attitude, will power and determination can make a huge difference to your life.
Hats off, Aditya! Your ability is stronger than your disability.