HYDERABAD, India — A 70-year-old man from the southern Indian city Hyderabad has been paddling his way on a bicycle to help people who are in need, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

K.R. Srinivas Rao, a retired employee of India’s flag carrier Air India, said he always wanted to serve people in need, and after his retirement, he got a chance to fulfill his aspiration.

With his passion for cycling and his aspiration to help the needy, he got a platform to combine both, said the retired Air India employee.

“When the Covid-19 cases were at the peak, I joined a Hyderabad-based organization Hyderabad Relief Riders, who aim to bring awareness about cycling,” said Rao.

“I had joined the cause initially when it started in the month of April,” he said. “I used to always prefer bicycle for short distances, but after learning about Relief Riders, I was excited to join them.”

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“The organization was able to serve the needy with their requirements of either groceries or medicine and deliver them to the doorsteps through cycling.”

To keep himself engaged after his retirement, Rao said he started playing table tennis and has made it a habit of cycling near his residence.

He advised people to come forward and help those who are in need.

“Keeping in mind the environmental crisis, people must take the initiative to use a cycle at least for a shorter distance,” said Rao.

Apart from helping the needy, Relief Riders team members also get together and conduct cleanliness drives. Around 40 riders got together on June 20 worked towards cleaning the Shamirpet Lake in the city.

Hyderabad Relief Riders deliver medicines for elderly people. The assistance range from arranging blood plasma units, emergency drugs, oxygen cylinders, and intensive care unit beds.

Santhana Selvan, a program manager in an information technology firm, started this initiative in April by sharing his contact number online and expressing his willingness to help the elderly people who are homebound amid the pandemic.

Since then, he has been receiving requests from many people for this social service. 

“Relief Riders Hyderabad and Yashoda Foundation Trust stand for Covid-affected families,” said Anjenney Tsn, one of the volunteers, in a Facebook post.

“The idea of distributing this kit is to ensure the Covid-19 patient gets 14 days 3 Times food. The kits are available at Miyapur, Maradpally, Tarnaka, Himayathnagar. The process is simple, once we get a request, we will ask for their ID proof like Adhaar, and their covid tested report soft copy. After approval, we deliver the ration kit to them.”

(With inputs from ANI)

(Edited by Amrita Das and Saptak Datta)

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