The Celeb ride raised funds in support of para-athletes at AMF
Hyderabad, February 2021: Prominent actress, producer and humanitarian, Ms Lakshmi Manchu pedaled her maiden 100 kms on a bicycle from Infinity Para-sports Academy and Rehab Centre, Rasoolpura to Toopran and back, to raise funds for para-athletes at Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF). Shri Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary IT, flagged of the ride at 5:00 am at the Infinity Para-sports Academy and Rehab Center, Begumpet. Ms Lakshmi concluded the ride at the same venue around 11:30 am and got a momentous and rousing welcome from the Para-athletes at AMF. She was joined in the ride by the Indian Para-cycling Team and few other cyclists. AMF is a non–profit organization that aids people with disabilities to pursue sports while providing self-sustenance.
Ms Lakshmi Manchu underwent rigorous training under the guidance of Aditya Mehta, an UCI certified cycling coach, to give wings to her dream of pedaling 100 kms on bicycle for the first time in her life. Her strenuous training regimen spread over the last one month without a break every single day as early as 5.00 am, involved 30 to 50 kms ride, on flats, slopes and hilly terrains to build the necessary speed and strength.
An elated Ms Lakshmi Manchu, on completion of her maiden 100 kms bicycle ride said, this is the first time I have done something as stupendous as this, the maximum I pedaled till date including during training was fifty kilometers, I was not sure if I could do it and even today morning, I wasn’t sure, but accomplished it. I have never done good in sports despite my dad being associated with sports, in fact I was last in a swimming race. But feel proud and happy to have accomplished this. The objective of my ride was not to just raising money, but to create awareness about the facility here and let people know that they are here to train and take care of you and push you to your limits to make you realize your potential. We underestimate our capability, but if we are determined we can accomplish much bigger things. I have been associated with Aditya Mehta foundation for over six years. The academy here provides training for para-athletes in all sports, one need not be an athlete to come here, get trained and become one. The Foundation has been doing some wonderful work, all the Police forces personnel who while serving in the frontline loose their arms or legs, are counselled and rehabilitated here. The trainees from here brought glory to the country by winning several medals. Aditya Mehta was himself not an athlete, he lost his leg in an accident, he didn’t despair over it and loose heart, instead he was determined to do something not just for himself but many like him and he created this Foundation with that objective. His entire family is dedicated to the cause he took up. During the pandemic the Foundation faced challenges in raising funds to sustain itself. I took on the responsibility to raise funds through this ride, set a target of raising Rs 5 lakhs, but could raise Rs 6 lakhs, Mr Shobu came forward and donated anothermatching Rs 6 lakhs to it and have raised in all Rs 13 lakhs. My advice to those who want to do physical training is, start small, find friends with similar interest to sustain and motivate yourself. You need to push yourself and can achieve more than what you thought you could.
Ms Lakshmi Manchu is sensitive and holds dear the cause of specially abled athletes, over the years she contributed enormously in ensuring their wellbeing and raising their spirits to excel. This time she tagged her dream of cycling 100 kms with a cause dear to her heart and is raising funds for AMF’s para-athletes. Ms Lakshmi Manchu had committed to raise Rs. 5 lakhs through this expedition, but the initiative picked up such momentum that already Rs. 13 lakhs have been raised and counting, says Aditya Mehta. Pandemic badly hit our fund-raisingability, as most people donated to PM and CM relief funds, which was necessary at that hour, this initiative of Ms Lakshmi Manchu provides succor to the Foundation.
AMF launched the 1st of its kind Para-Sports Rehabilitation and Training Academy in Asia in November 2019, which was inaugurated by Dr. SK Joshi, IAS, then Chief Secretary, Govt of Telangana. The foundation trains Divyaangans from across the nation including CAPF and civilians, from basic level in 28 para-sports at the Academy.
About Aditya Mehta Foundation
Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF) is a nonprofit organization which aids people with disabilities to pursue sports while providing self-sustenance. AMF aims to help the Para athletes reach their potential in their chosen field of sports and have a self-sustaining life. Many disabled people who would otherwise have been great sports persons cannot pursue their choice of sport due to disabilities. AMF provides all support including equipment, coaching, financial aid, counseling etc. to help them pursue sports to instill independence, rehabilitate them and reinstall them into society. “Our vision is to see a bright sporting career for people with disabilities.”
AMF was formalized in 2013. Within a short span of time, the foundation helped 200 para athletes with ample support of which we have won 92 international medals. While keeping the overheads to the minimum, the foundation started to raise funds by involving people in sporting activities and helping them raise funds. Border Security Force(BSF) was the first para military force to get associated with us and provide tremendous support. AMF is now proudly associated withIndo Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP).
AMF looks towards a bright future with the Central Government supporting the organization. We are a Non-Profit organization. So far we have held 4 free National Level Training Camps where we have screened, counseled and trained more than 800 persons with disability in 28 different sports for them to get a feel of sports. This is under the guidance of Para-coaches, Physiotherapists and Prosthetists. Through this we select capable beneficiaries and take them under the AMF wing to train them further to win medals for the country. SUMMER PARA-SPORTS: Archery, Athletics, Badminton, Boccia, Canoe, Cycling, Equestrian Football 5-a-side, Goalball, Judo, Powerlifting, Rowing, Shooting, Sitting volleyball, Swimming, Table tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon, Wheelchair basketball, Wheelchair fencing, Wheelchair rugby, Wheelchair tennis, WINTER PARA-SPORTS: Alpine skiing, Biathlon, Cross-country skiing, Para ice hockey, Snowboard, Wheelchair curling.