Every ABBF adventure sees the participation of our allies, able-bodied individuals who seek out new experiences and perspectives by partnering with an adventurer with disability. Here are a few of our most regular allies, one half of what makes our adventures what they are!
Nutritionist-in-training and stay-at-home mom
Nita’s first ABBF experience was the Everest Base Camp expedition, one she says helped her “experience so much more” because it was inclusive. In the months that followed, she committed to running marathons with us, asking why she should run alone when she could run with others. A strong believer in sport as a medium, she believes runners, tandem cyclists and trekkers are questionings false images everyday. “What is ‘disabled’ meant to look like anyway?” she asks.
Part of the team who headed to Ladakh for the tandem cycling expedition in 2016, Amrit got to see the historic ride first hand. “During the course of the expedition, it was obvious to me that this story was not about ‘blindness’ at all. We did not forget Divyanshu was blind but that was similar to how no one forgot I had a beard. That is the bottom-line. We saw each other as different individuals but that never became the basis to judge what one can and cannot do.”
Projects Controller, Kumar Properties
It was by chance that Harshad got introduced to ABBF but in the months that followed, he didn’t pass up an opportunity to be a sighted ally to our marathoners. From never having interacted with blind people to running with some of our fastest girls and later, another first with deaf runners, Harshad has many personal firsts with us! “Everyone really is the same,” he says. “It is high time we were all seen that way, doing all the same things.”
Supply Chain Senior Executive, Coca Cola Pvt Ltd.
The one thing that keeps Gauri coming back to ABBF events is, in her own words, the new insight into life that she gets every time. “I see life differently when I run as a sighted ally,” she explains. Beginning in 2014, Gauri has run with us time and again, and recalls experiences where girls have told her that it was at the marathon that they truly understood what running meant. “If one was asked what fresh air is, we’d say it has to be experience, right? That is what ABBF is. It is a breathe of fresh air that one ought to experience.”
Senior Engineer, Nvidia
Gagan was the captain of our maiden tandem cycling trip from Manali to Khardung La, completing the trip with Divyanshu in le
ss than a week! “So many people do not know what they are missing out on,” he explains when speaking of why tandem is a great way to bridge the gap. “If we can do it, so can everyone else!” Gagan believes that every time people choose to try an inclusive tandem ride, that is one more stereotype broken.
Two years ago, Herman made a decision that went on to change the way he looked at the world. Scuba diving with a paraplegic friend, he has not looked back ever since. Ever since, Herman has pledged to help build a platform where people can explore their limits independent of disability. “Hopefully using sports as a platform will lead to a world which is more accessible and disability-friendly.”