Cyclothon Stage 1- Chennai to B’lore


Done and dusted you could say after a relatively less taxing ride. It was a bit strenuous from Ambur to Krishnagiri and a lot more on the Krishnagiri Hosur leg. Looking back it was the ideal start for this arduous endeavor. Lots of meetings, more than expected ceremony at the start and finish, a  doable ride and superb support along the way from HelpAge, TI Cycles and the support team of Prem, Premila and my wife Deepa.

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With Senthimal, who accompanied us all the way from Chennai to B’lore, on the right.

IMG-20190119-WA0026-1Present at the kick off at Elliot’s Beach was the effervescent 92-year-old, Kamachi Subramanium.

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Great supporters of the cause, family and friends.

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And we are flagged off by Mr. TS Krishnamurty, the retired Chief Election Commissioner and Mr. Krishnaswamy, Vice President and Business Head of TI Cycles.

IMG-20190121-WA0001My childhood friend and classmate from class 5 all the way through Engineering college, KC Srinivas made arrangements for us to stay at the SCSVMV University guest house at Kanchipuram our first halting place. Srini arranged an interactive session for me with the faculty of the Department of Management Studies. It was a wonderful session with Dr. Ramana Kumar, theFaculty Head and other faculty members.

IMG-20190122-WA0020My dear friends Senguttuvan and Elangovan from the unforgettable HRL days drove down from Chennai in the early hours of the morning to see us off as we commenced our journey to Vellore. Sengu had just returned from a holiday in the UK, he braved jet lag and associated tiredness to come to see us off.

I am not going to give a blow by blow account of each day of the ride but instead, just pick and choose the top of the mind highlights.

Ambur suddenly turned into a press deluge and a retired Dy. Collector alerted the press of the cyclotron. The evening then belonged to the press. Subsequently, there was fair coverage in the Tamil language TV Channels and newspapers. Quite a few friends got back to say they say the coverage on TV or in the newspapers.

At Krishnagiri was our first close interaction with a home for the Urban Homeless.

The forlorn look and sadness in the eyes of the residents tugged at our heartstrings. We tried to suggest that there should be a bit more social and other activities for the residents but were told that many were traumatised at being abandoned by their family and needed psychiatric attention.

In contrast was the meeting with the employees of Sundran Fasteners that took place at Hosur.

Over a hundred employees attended on a voluntary basis, something that surprised the HR team, as they do not generally get so enthusiastic a response to training and development talks.

We spend the night at the Ramana Maharishi Sevasreya, a premium senior citizen home . We enjoyed the interactions with the residents and our stay. The place has an atmosphere that is quite appealing.

The 26th January, the 70th anniversary of our Republic Day saw a delightful R-Day event at the Ashram.

IMG-20190126-WA0089More was to follow at Attibelle, a little town at the border between Tamilnadu and Karnataka. HelpAge India had arranged a welcome and flag off event at this point. It meant that I had to ride just 10 kilometers to reach the venue from Hosur.

A surprise development was a quick visit to the nearby Jai Bharati school to participate in the R-Day function.

They did manage to make a monkey of me as you can see !!!!

My family, my grandson in particular and friends from the corporate world were present at the event making it very special.

IMG-20190126-WA0084It was time for a few days of relaxation before pedaling off to Tumkur and beyond to Belgaum. More strenuous cycling awaits me.

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Flagging off at Elliot’s Beach, Chennai


IMG-20190119-WA0024The cyclothon is flagged off by Mr. TS Krishnamurthy, retired Chief Election Commissioner and Mr. Krishnaswamy, Business Head of TI Cycles. It was a wonderful event very well arranged by HelpAge and supported by many long-standing friends who attended to cheer me on.

IMG-20190119-WA0026In attendance was the indomitable Mrs. Kamachi Subramanium, 92 years, who says she is in no hurry to leave the world. In her words she loves to be with people, she loves talking to people and she loves the noise and buzz of people around her.

IMG-20190119-WA0040My steed for the ride lies perched on top of a TI Cycles support vehicle. With me are the friendly technicians who will be supporting me on the ride.

IMG-20190119-WA0031My cousin Brig. Mohan Bharathan makes a donation to HelpAge for their care projects for elders, the first of what may well be a copious flow.

IMG-20190119-WA0015Warm appreciation for the cause.

IMG-20190119-WA0046A light moment with very dear supporters of the cyclothon.

Dedication personified


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Edwin Babu ( left) Muthukrishnan ( right) are long standing employees of HelpAge based in Chennai. In a matter of fact way, they share that HelpAge has rescued over 14000 senior citizens, many terminally ill, who were abandoned on the roadside. Muthu runs a helpline that receives alerts that trigger prompt action. I enjoyed talking to these very dedicated personnel from HelpAge India.

A press meet in B’lore sets the stage for the cyclothon


A press meet at the Press Club B’lore was an ideal stage to get the cyclothon rolling.

img_5491Sitting to my right as you view the photo is Mr. Murthy Rao, a ninety year old very active senior citizen. He runs an old age home with great care and empathy with the emphasis on active aging. One area he focuses on a lot is to ensure that the inmates are always engaging in one activity or another.

img_5486A few words of caution in preparation from Rekha Murty, the State Head -Karnataka of HelpAge Inda.  It was timely, there was dis-interest and an insistence on Kanada as the medium of exchange to start with but as the meeting progressed there was palpable interest.

img_5485The enthusiastic team from HelpAge India with Murthy Rao and Premila.

IMG-20190117-WA0003-1Quite a few reporters captured sound bites and carried out interviews. We may see some of these covered in the Kanada media.

On to Chenna now.

Support for my cyclothon


Posted by Silvertalkies on Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Blog post by Silvertalkies

HelpAge India- In support of Silver Cyclers Project


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With Mr.Mathew Cherian,CEO,HelpAge India. HelpAge is providing full support for my cycloton in aid of Old Age Care, The Silver Cyclers Project. HelpAge will support through their branch offices along the route of the cycloton and will also make available mobile medical units at select locations. HelpAge will mobilise the elderly to participate in the cycloton,by cycling short distances, at staging locations across the country.

An Epic endevour by an unstoppable 60-year old


My good friend Gagan Khosla on turning 60 decided to take on an epic endeavour. He cycled from Leh to Kanyakumari in the awesome time of 29 days. His epic effort is being showcased on the Epic Channel on Saturday 27th October 2018.
He is now dreaming of conquering Mount Everest.
Keep going Gagan !!

Udhavi– Companionship for the elderly


woman standing beside woman on white wooden chair facing body of water
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Udhavi is a Chennai based organisation, set up to help the elderly. Especially those who live alone without their children. They offer companionship by visiting them, to stave off their loneliness and is doing commendable work.
It was founded by Sabita Ramakrishna, a vibrant senior citizen, at the age of 75.
The link takes you to the Udhavi web-site to learn more about them.

http://www.udhavi.net/index.html

Volunteers of Udhavi take up small errands for the elderly, like helping them take a walk to the beach, to the temple, to concerts or an occasional movie. They accompany them on short shopping sprees. To those who are not tech savvy, they explain how to use the mobile phone, how to use the computer, to browse the Net, and to use Skype for talking with their children who live abroad. They help the elders visit the bank, learn some of the functions which might be difficult for them to understand.

Udhavi has a band of committed volunteers ranging from the age of 18-83! Groups of volunteers are personally trained for assisting elders the UDHAVI way.

Sabita Ramakrishna has offered to assist my cycloton in aid of old age care ,Project Golden Sunset, in every way possible.