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RELIEF RIDERS: REAL HEROES ON CYCLES

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Relief Riders: Real Heroes on Cycles

While Covid-19 is still at large amongst us, it is during these tough times that our senior and vulnerable citizens would find it difficult to step out to buy basic necessities. With various lockdowns being implemented, this volunteer community of Cyclists have taken up this noble initiative of delivering basic necessities.

Relief Riders is a Cycling Community volunteering initiative. This was first started by Sathya Shankaran who is the current Bicycling Mayor of Bengaluru city. This initiative was started in April of 2020 in Bengaluru during the first lockdown. This year during the 2nd wave of this pandemic in our country, relief riders restarted their operations from April 27th 2021. This time they have expanded to 8 cities with 80-200 volunteers on their Bicycles in each of these cities, including women and men volunteers.

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Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Hubli, Dharwad, Belgavi, Jaipur and Guwhati are the active cities currently. They are also rapidly expanding their volunteering initiative to other cities. The Relief Riders groups also have a back office team of volunteers who are essential to this initiative running. Anyone requesting for help will contact the back office team first and register their requirement. Each request is labelled as a task and then allocated to the nearest available volunteer. An individual requesting for help can pay for the items they wish to be purchased directly to the volunteer. The pick-up and drop is being completely done on a volunteering basis by this bunch of Cyclists. Requests are being taken in specific time slots according to the lockdown rules in each of these individual cities. Contact information for each of these cities is given in the image on the side.

Anyone who has access to a bicycle can contact them directly to sign up for volunteering. Items which can be bought and delivered are mainly groceries and medicines. When speaking to the person behind this initiative and Bengaluru’s Bicycling mayor Sathya Shankaran said “The relief riders initiative was started to ensure our senior citizens and Covid affected families in home quarantine do not have to step out to buy their essentials.” Mr.Shankaran also said “This has put the Bicycle in the spotlight and the relief riders have offset a total of 1 ton of carbon emission in 5 cities in the first 2 weeks alone.”

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Conclusion

This initiative is not only helping those in need during this time of crisis but also in the process promoting cycling and doing their bit for our environment. For more information on Relief Riders, visit this website.

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