Cancer survivor part of Raid De Himalaya

Last Updated : 06 October 2012, 20:08 IST

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The number of people who strongly connect with motorsport has been steadily going up in every edition of Maruti Suzuki Raid De Himalayas and the adage that it’s never too late to pursue your passion has brought two unusual participants to the premier rallying event of the country – a cancer survivor and one of the scions of the Oberoi family.

At 57, Rajeev Khanna is the oldest participant in the 14th edition of the rally in the Xtreme two-wheel category with a Yamaha WR 450. He is the grandson of hotelier Rai Bahadur MS Oberoi.

The Oberai scion attempted to participate in 2010 and 2011 editions of the Raid but acute high altitude sickness scuttled his plans. He had three slip discs in June this year which haven't healed yet but he decided to go against his doctor's prescription.

Khanna goes by his grandfather's word. “My grandfather taught me to never worry about something that may not happen. Do what you want. I am here to fulfill my passion,” said Khanna, whose family owns many of the luxurious hotels in the country. Khanna is up against 35 participants in the Xtreme Motorcycles and Quads category.

Dr (Capt) Ritu Biyani is another inspiring story at the Raid who is simply thrilled by the thought of being a part of the most exciting motorsport event in India. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2000. But thankfully, it was detected in the first stage itself. Since then, I have educated about 1,00,00 people about the disease. With my participation, I want to convey to all people that there is life after cancer," said Ritu, who will participate in the Adventure Trial category.

Ritu is making her first appearance in the Raid with an aim to spread awareness about the disease. A total of 150 teams, represented by 260 participants, are part of this year's rally which has total prize money of Rs 10 lakh.

Meanwhile, seven-time Raid De Himalaya champion in the Xtreme four-wheel category, Suresh Rana will again look to reign supreme on the world’s highest motorable passes, with participants rallying at a height of 6,000 meters above sea level. The defending champion will be seen in Grand Vitara with which he wasn't able to finish the Mughal Rally due to engine breakdown earlier this year.On all previous occasions, Gypsy has remained Rana's trusted partner

Published 06 October 2012, 20:08 IST

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