NOBLE CAUSE | Man on his 64th birthday to embark on 2800-km cyclothon

When Delhi-based businessman and qualified chartered accountant Vicki Bedi will celebrate his 64th birthday on November 18 this year, there would be a lot more special to this occasion.

Bedi will not just be growing a year older he will on this day embark on a splendid cycling journey— ‘Grit for Life’ a 2800 km Delhi-Rajashthan-Delhi cyclothon, which is not just an adventure but a noble cause to raise funds for active prevention, diagnosis, treatment of needy cancer patients from all age groups, sexes, races, ethnicities and religions across the country.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir from Delhi, Bedi who took up the hobby of cycling at the age of 60 says: “I am an amateur when it comes to cycling but passionate enough to be cycling 2800 kilometers for this cause.”

“I am inspired by the immense grit and determination demonstrated by cancer patients. I have decided to step away from my comfort zone to push my mind and body to its limit in order to raise funds for needy cancer sufferers with help of this desert cyclothon,” says Bedi.

Bedi who is the 14th descendent of Guru Nanak Devji says the desert cyclothon will be held over a period of 14 days during which he will be travelling across 14 different cities of Rajasthan. “I shall cover a distance which equals Delhi to Kanyakumari. The reason for keeping it limited to just two states is the pandemic,” says Bedi.

“This year in November also happens to be the 551st birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji. The Grit for Life cyclothon event taking place in the same month is a special feeling for me,” says Bedi.

He says that earlier he has cycled from Delhi to Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab and undertook a trek to Goyko lakes in Nepal.

Speaking with Greater Kashmir from Delhi, noted oncologist Dr Sameer Kaul, who is also president of bcpbf-The Cancer Foundation, which is organising the desert cyclothon said it was the “challenger” Bedi’s idea. “I call him the challenger who will drive this cyclothon and there could be more people running miles or cycling several stretches along with Bedi. We expect ambassadors of few countries to join him for cycling several miles.”

Dr Kaul said that Bedi will be accompanied by a medical team and another team of doctors which will “hold a breast cancer detection and awareness campaign in Barmer, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur in Rajashtan.”

As per Dr Kaul, “Grit for Life is a unique fundraising endeavour” of bcpbf –The Cancer Foundation in support of economically underprivileged cancer afflicted Indians.

“Apart from prevention, diagnosis, treatment of needy patients, this event also aims to impart basic information regarding this scourge amongst common people along the cyclothon route. This will raise awareness level and send home the crucial message that no matter how tough the journey be, with focus and determination one can emerge victorious,” says Dr Kaul.

Speaking about the foundation, Dr Kaul said: “It is an equal opportunity support organisation which, comprises of well known medical professionals, financial experts, entrepreneurs, gutsy survivors and philanthropic members of the community.

“Its sole purpose is to benefit the ‘ill affording’ and to increase knowledge among those unaware, by reaching out to them through its programmes like ‘knowledge at your doorstep’ screening camps, public awareness lectures, seminars, corporate health checks and other activities.

“The foundation also aims to motivate the affluent and empowered strata of society to contribute towards the noble cause.”