Charity Riders
Magendar Rajasekaran
Vidyodaya Gudalur is part of ACCORD International (Action for Community Organization, Rehabilitation and Development). As part of an initiative to uplift Tribal community in Nilgiris valley and make them self sufficient, Education was chosen as one of the levers and hence Vidyodaya School was born. Providing relevant and good quality education for Adivasis is something mainstream government schools in the area to continue to struggle with. But as we know, a good education can make the difference between a life of poverty and a life of opportunity. This is where a community-owned educational institution like Vidyodaya plays a key.

In the past decade Vidyodaya has effected tremendous change in the attitudes of the tribal community here to education. From having few children going to school we now have 100% enrolment in primary school! Many have progressed to secondary school, some even further than that. Vidyodaya team has been able to set up support systems in and around villages such as camps, study centres, village libraries and tutorials to ensure that children going to government schools get the kind of intensive support they require to complete schooling. They have also collaborated with the SSA to set up residential centres for dropouts so that they can re-enter school.

As a charity rider, I intend to raise a pledge and awareness about this cause and to enlist like minded people to contribute in whichever way possible. One such initiative that has come out of this this association is the concept of 'global school' where we attempt to connect children (using Digital media) from well endowed school system to children in schools with lesser resources to exchange ideas and knowledge. Feel free to reach out to me to participate in this initiative and make this a richer and fulfilling experience to all of us.

To learn more & support this cause, you can write to Magendar at
Pete Berridge
After a 3 year effort to get into shape, losing around 5 stone, I thought; what next? Well the Tour of Nilgiris in India seemed like a challenge that will push me to my limits. I wanted to use the opportunity to raise funds for Combat Stress, the veterans' mental health charity who provide much needed support to those service veterans suffering mental ill health. The charity has helped thousands of men and women for over 95 years and has a centre in my home town of Newport, Shropshire. So for me, it hits all the right buttons and is a very worthy cause.

To learn more & support this cause, you can write to Pete at
Vivek Bhateja - Fuelled by a Cause
Vivek Bhateja is one of this year's charity riders. He will be riding to raise funds for Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital - our medical partner and an institution dedicated to bringing quality healthcare to society, with a focus on those less fortunate.

Vivek's story is a fascinating one. A little more than a year ago life was weighing him down, both figuratively and literally. He had been battling obesity for years and had tried pretty much everything. Clocking in at 125 kilos, his weight was affecting his health drastically and he was even borderline diabetic all at the tender age of 29.

And then came his (re)introduction to cycling. While his big brother (Dr Arvind Bhateja) trained away with Team Spectrum Racing on his road and TT bikes, Vivek would borrow his MTB and ride around a bit. In no time, he decided he would compete in Bangalore's weekend road racing scene and he did. On a hardtail! Within a few months, Vivek had dropped weight and he decided it was time his bike did too. He gifted himself his first new bike - a Scott Speedster road bike. The pace really picked up from there. Today, Vivek weighs in at just 75 kilos - a loss of 50 kilos! And it continues to drop. He has never felt healthier and stronger and he decided he would ride this year's TfN as a charity rider, to give something back to the institution that is an indelible part of his life.

You see, Vivek's mum is Dr Sita Bhateja, and both as a member of the family and an employee of SBSH, he has grown up on a philosophy of giving. Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital was founded on a charitable trust which has spent nearly a half century bringing healthcare to the less fortunate. Doctors in the charitable wing of SBSH perform everything from routine treatment for the flu to brain surgery free of charge or partially charged, based on needy patients? ability to afford it. All pro bono patients receive the same expert level of care from senior surgeons in the same state-of-the-art equipment operating theatre, as more well-to-do paying patients.

The relationship between Sita Bhateja Speciality Hospital and the Tour of the Nilgiris goes back to the event's very inception. Since the beginning, SBSH has overseen the health and wellbeing of all the riders at the TfN. In the 2013 TfN, SBSH's charity rider in the TfN Gautam Raja raised 1.2 lakh rupees which went towards the treatment of needy patients through the SBSH's trust. This year, Vivek will be looking to better that by a long way.

If you would like to support Vivek in his quest by donating towards SBSH's charitable activities, you may do so here

To learn more & support this cause, you can write to Vivek at
Gangadhar Balija
I am raising funds for Government Blind School in Hindupur , Andhra Pradesh behalf of Infosys cycling club Thunderbolts. I am planning to raising at least Rs 2 lakhs funds to provide permanent sports infrastructure to the School. Last year, around May, I started cycling to combat physical ailments. Today, I am addicted to cycling, and pedal my way around for at least 500 kilometers a month. Cycling keeps you alive and happy! Whenever I am not in a good mood, I always go out for a ride, and soon enough, all is bright and sunny again. I owe lot to cycling and we at thunderbolts encourage bike to work and every year we conduct cycling expo and Infosys Cycling league to award frequent bike commuters to work.

To learn more & support this cause, you can write to Gangadhar at
Rakesh Rana
Rakesh Rana comes from Satolli, a small village in the hills of Kumaon, Uttarakhand. A revelation during the sports focused activations across years in Satolli, Rakesh took to cycling like a natural. In 2013, Rakesh rode TfN on an mtb with slicks (since he wasn’t used to road bikes) and placed in the top 10 finishers. This is no mean feat when you take into account that TfN 2013 comprised of some of the top triathletes in the world, pro cyclists from other countries and among the best riders in India!

Rakesh Rana is coming back to TfN 2014 with bigger aspirations – he is riding to raise charity for Aarohi, the NGO he is nurtured in and he wants to finish in the top 5!

Rakesh is an industrious, creative and highly motivated youth. To make a living, he juggles many roles seamlessly. He helps his father run a tea shop on the road to Aarohi. The shop also doubles up as a local 'milk collection centre'. He also works as a caretaker at a nearby Hotel. During tourist season, he treks along with visitors as a local guide.

A very active sportsman, playing several games whenever possible, he was also a winner of the 2011 Aarohi cycle race. He has learnt cycle repair and maintenance skills and has now started a small cycle repair services business at the same tea shop as well. For the future, he dreams to one day run a cycle-renting business for tourists and even has mapped out beautiful routes in Kumaon!

Tour of Nilgiris was created to provide a platform for talent to grow & seeing Rakesh excel has been a joy for the team. Support Rakesh as he grows in cycling pedigree and support Aarohi find more Rakesh’s.

To learn more about Aarohi and how you can help,
Thanmaya B P
Thanmaya strongly believes that each able citizen must have a civic, environmental and social commitment for our country's progress. Iksha Foundation's support to the families with kids who have retinoblastoma and the difference it is making in their lives proves his belief that small actions by individuals can make a positive change in others' life. Thanmaya is a Senior Manager, Product Marketing in the software arm of Accenture. An enthusiastic endurance cyclist, he sports the gold ribbon in his bid to create awareness about childhood eye cancer and talks to people about Iksha Foundation.

About Iksha Foundation

Iksha foundation is a public charitable trust to focus on Retinoblastoma (eye Cancer) - to create awareness, to provide aid for its treatment and to support research to improve care of children with Retinoblastoma.

We at Iksha believe that no child should ever lose eyesight or face death to this type of childhood cancer that has one of the best cure rates. No family should have to go through the unspeakable pain of losing a child. We are currently supporting children who have been diagnosed with Retinoblastoma and are being treated at Narayana Nethralaya.