Srinagar, 12 Oct: Former international president of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Dr Unni Karunakara, today set out on a 100-day cycling mission to create awareness in public about health issues and to raise funds.
Beginning his 5,000-km Kashmir to Kerala odyssey from Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences here, Unni will pedal through 64 cities, towns and villages spread over 10 states.
He describes his journey, known as ‘Unnicycles Tour’, as an awareness campaign about medical humanitarian action and to raise money for the people in need of healthcare all over the world.
As a medical intern in India in 1988, he had biked from Delhi to Leh and from Srinagar to Delhi.
“I dreamed, one day, to ride from one end of India to the other. Twenty five years later, I can fulfill this dream and combine it with my other passion, which is to connect with people and learn from each other,” Unni said.
He had a word of advice for the medicine students in the Valley to be aware of what is happening in the society and to be of some help. “You do not have to get on a plane and travel to Africa for being a humanitarian… All you need is to be aware of what is happening in your society and how you can be of help,” he said.
Unni will be joined by various riders from Canadian Olympic silver medalist Helen Upperton to Indian poet and author Jeet Thayil, who will offer support to raise funds for MSF programmes in the country and elsewhere.
He ended his three-year term as International President of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organisation, also known as ‘Doctors Without Borders’ on October 1. pti