Pune: Mukul Madhav Foundation (MMF) in association with Finolex Industries Ltd. along with Bicycle Angels, a not-for-profit social initiative, have organized a Cyclothon from Pune to Ratnagiri which took place from December 8 2015 till December 12 2015 with an objective to help the socio-economically weaker section of the society. Two professional cyclists graced this unique event.
The event being an initiative of Mukul Madhav Foundation, sponsored by Finolex Pipes as a part of their CSR activities, and Ashok Leyland as the travel sponsor for the same.
The five day event which saw a number of activities in which the Bicycle Angel’s will donate livelihood cycles to needy individuals. MMF in association with Finolex Industries have organized medical camps for the students of four Zila Parishad schools at Shirwal, Umbraj, Kokrud and Pali, respectively.
Two professional cyclists, Mr. Rakesh Bakshi (Bicycle Angel’s founder, film maker & author of ‘The Director’s Diaries’) and Prof. Ram Dhillon (Renowned ENT surgeon from UK), along with MMF’s CSR team underwent this journey.
A team of more than 20 doctors are engaged in this health camps, including the pediatric team from K.E.M. Hospital, the Audiology, Speech and Dental team from Bharati Hospital, and an Ophthalmology team from H. V Desai Eye Hospital. More than 3171 children are expected to undergo the screenings that are monitored by Mukul Madhav Foundation since last year. Besides, every new student who undertook the tests in the medical camp is being added in the list for their future health status.
The Foundation provided hygiene hampers comprising of a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, biscuits and Frooti, to all the 3171 students in three districts – Satara, Sangli and Ratnagiri.
While elaborating on the idea behind the initiative, Mrs. Ritu Chhabria, Managing Trustee of MMF, said, “The Cyclothon is an initiative that has become our calendar event. Last year, 2313 students underwent health checkups during Cyclothon 2014. The Foundation provided spectacles to 27 students in Z.P area.”
”During the Cyclothon, we also came to know about the requirement of chairs for children affected with Cerebral Palsy. Many children remain out of schools because of physical disabilities. These differently abled children require special chairs to sit comfortably in the classroom. To fulfill these needs, Satara Zilla Parishad had requested MMF for assistance. By January 2016, with the support of Finolex Industries, MMF will fulfill this request and 100 special children will be able to attend school regularly by using these chairs,” she said.
The vision behind this project is to empower the underprivileged by helping them better their chances at earning a livelihood with the help of the cycles donated.
Bicycle Angel’s founder, filmmaker and author of “The Director’s Diaries”, RakeshBakshi said “When your livelihood depends on someone, you will truly value the humble bicycle. I would like to thank my donors who have contributed for our cause.” This year, total of six people have received bicycles.
Prof. Ram Dhillon, a successful ENT specialist from the UK, said “I am delighted to be associated for the second consecutive year, the MMF Cyclothon 2015, which has delivered medical camps for under privileged school children located between Pune and Ratnagiri. I do charity work in the UK and my involvement with India has come through the MMF Managing Trustee, Mrs Ritu Chhabria, who works tirelessly to assist those who are less fortunate than most of us. Some of the participants, including myself have travelled in this event and a total of 340 km, over a 5 day period have been covered.”
The details of beneficiaries who received bicycles are as follows:
1. Mr. Shabbir Abdul Akhtar (Vategoankar), Near Old Masjid, Kokrud.
This bangle vendor goes to nearby village using his very old cycle. The new cycle will help him earn his livelihood more easily and efficiently. His son and daughter are studying in same school and they are bright students. School authorities have strongly recommended him.
2. Mr. Ajith Gorakhnath Patil. Rethare, Warana Tal. Shirala Dist. Sangli.Age 22 years.
He works as a helper with M/s. Anand Electricals & Hardware, Kokrud (who sells Finolex pipes in season on demand) on daily wages. For this, he has to travel 4 kms by walking or requesting a ride from someone on two wheeler. There is no bus on his route and a bicycle would be a great help for him.
3. Mr. Maruti Sadu Padyar. Pangalewadi of Pawas..Age 36 years.
His family consists of himself, his bedridden father and his uncle. He is unmarried. He works as a manual laborer whenever possible. The average number of days when he finds work is 12 @ Rs. 200/- per day. He comes under below poverty line. He also works for a newspaper vendor distributing 25 newspapers everyday walking. He gets Rs. 50/- per month per paper.
4. Mr.Rajendra Shiva Daas, Shirval.Age 43 years.
He is a masonry labor and works on daily wages basis on construction site. His son is in Shirval ZP school. He gets around Rs. 150 Per day through daily wages. Reference: – Mr. Tarde sir (Shirwal Z.P. School Principal)
5. Mr. Bhagvan Suresh Atole, Umbraj. Age 45 years
With an annual income of about Rs. 20000, he goes to Krishna river for catching fish and sells fish in and around Umbraj walking. He walks for around 7 to 8 km every day. Now the bicycle would save him man-hours and give him more time for earning livelihood. His children go to ZP school in Umbraj.
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