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The Cycling Physician: Riding Across India for Doctors Without Borders

  December 6, 2013

Schindelhauer_Doctor with bike

Dr. Unni Karunakara, the recently retired president of Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres, is riding 3,100 miles (5,000 km) down the length of India from north to south. His mission is to spread public health information in the many villages and cities he will visit along the way, and act as a humanitarian ambassador for Doctors without Borders, which provides medical care to impoverished people around the world. He is about halfway through the trip that will take four months and bring the physician over mountain ranges and down rural roads to the tropical coast 100 days later. Read a news release about Dr. Karunakara’s humanitarian expedition here.

Karunakara is riding a Schindelhauer touring bike equipped with Gates Carbon Drive, a Brooks saddle and panniers, and Rohloff internal hub.

“I have been working in international health for eighteen years from treating patients, advocating for life-saving medicines, and fighting to improve access and the quality of healthcare,” says Dr. Karunakara. “I feel I have a unique opportunity to pause, reflect, and explore with people what health means to them and how they experience it. I love to cycle. As a medical intern in India in 1988, I biked from Delhi to Leh and 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, start meaningful dialogues, and learn from each other.”

s bike in india

Read more on the Medecins Sans Frontieres Doctors Without Borders blog, and page 8-9 The Brooks Bugle article, support Doctors without Borders by donating, and visit the trip Facebook page.

Jorg Schindelhauer explains the features of Dr. Kunakara's bike.
Jorg Schindelhauer explains the features of Dr. Karunakara’s bike.