Visually challenged for the last 18 years, Divyanshu Ganatra is busy training and cycling upto six hours on weekends and almost equal time on weekdays — all for a ten-member tandem cycling expedition of visually-impaired persons from Manali to Khardung La in July this year.
Despite his special circumstances, nothing has deterred Ganatra from actively participating in adventure sports, which according to him, helps him know people from all walks of life.
A qualified paragliding trainer, Ganatra’s love for adventure sports extends to scuba diving, tandem cycling, rock and mountain climbing, swimming, among others. “Sport is not just a medium but a way of life, where all unite and attempt a sport,” said Ganatra, who started Adventure Beyond Barriers (ABB), a Pune-based non-profit organisation, a couple of years ago.
Pointing out ABB’s various achievements during these two years, he said, “ We have been able to change the attitudes of the society regarding the capabilities of challenged persons. Some of the differently-abled persons have also got jobs in the main stream society, while a few have got a chance to pursue further education. All this would have been impossible without coming together.”
So far, his team has managed to reach to over 5,000 differently-abled persons and about 1.5 lakh others. Located at 18,380 feet above the sea-level, Ganatra rode to the world’s highest motorable road, at Khardungla last year and he hopes to award a similar life-changing experience to 10 others like him.
The crowd-funded expedition is estimated to cost Rs 18 lakh and will be held between July 29 and August 10 and from August 12 to 24.
On those accompanying him, Ganatra said, “This time, we are more than just a bigger team, with two amputees and three sighted people participating in our ride. We will be a total of 15 cyclists and an qual number of support team members riding the hills.”
He has also urged the people to help prepare the expedition.