When para-cyclist Aditya Mehta wheeled his bicycle into Mumbai, at the Gateway of India, on Sunday, it marked the end of a grueling ride that began on December 14 in Delhi, and took him on a 1,450-km journey.
Cycling with one limb (he is an amputee), Aditya soldiered on despite a fall, bruised knees and a painful ankle to complete his ride, which took him through Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. With his feat of endurance, Aditya is raising funds to provide amputees with artificial limbs, fund their education and provide specially designed sports equipment for their use.
Aditya, 32, had previously cycled from Manali to Khardung La in 2014. The route is the highest motorable road in the world and conditions are tough, to say the least. Still, the Hyderabad-based Aditya felt that his ride from Delhi to Mumbai was no less grueling — especially since he was riding without his prosthetic limb, unlike on previous journeys.
On his journey, Aditya was joined by fellow riders IPS officer Akun Sabharwal and Rajeev Reddy Malchety, the Telangana state vice-president, Youth Congress.
The Delhi-Mumbai journey was also a way for Aditya to generate assistance for personnel from the police and paramilitary forces who lost their limbs on duty. Aditya lost his right leg (it was amputated above the knee) after an accident in 2006. Since then, he says his focus has shifted from material pleasures to health and fitness.
His efforts paid off, and in 2013, Aditya was a double silver medalist at the Asian Para-Cycling Championships. He also established the Aditya Mehta Foundation, which works to provide para-athletes the very best facilities and training. His Delhi-Mumbai ride done, Aditya is now preparing for his next challenge — cycling the Manali-Khardung La route once again in 2016....