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Members of Bengaluru-based Riders Republic supplied epilepsy medicine to a family in Chennai during the lockdown.
Members of Bengaluru-based Riders Republic supplied epilepsy medicine to a family in Chennai during the lockdown.

Bengaluru bikers’ group joins medical relief efforts amid lockdown

  • These bikers are successful and affluent individuals, trying to help people in need in these difficult times, especially with medical emergencies
  • The bikers’ group is serving multiple needs of people affected by the lockdown also by setting up a toll-free helpline

BENGALURU : For five days, a family in Chennai had reached out to almost every chemist for a rare, life-saving medicine, Sabril 500mg, for their four-year-old child who suffers from epilepsy. With the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the search went online, and as far as Odisha, when Debasis Nayak, a family friend, reached out to Arun Bothra, a senior police official.

“I reached out to Bothra sir (a tech-savvy IPS officer) and he in turn tweeted about it and the word spread," said Nayak. A few posts and many hours later, Nayak got a call from the office of the Bengaluru deputy commissioner of police (DCP), north east, Bheemashankar S. Guled, saying that two members of ‘Riders Republic’, a group of 200 motorbike enthusiasts from Bengaluru, were going to deliver the medicines to the Chennai resident.

Among those who had heard of the requirement was a Bengaluru resident whose child suffered from the same problem, and decided to part with a few strips of the medicine.

Guled coordinated with the riders R. Shivakumar, 34, a businessman, and Niranjan, a civil contractor, issued inter-state passes so that they could deliver the medicine to the child. “Normally we take breaks every 200 km, eat, drink, and rest on our rides," said Shivakumar. “But this time we had a brisk stop only to have some food that we packed from our homes." The duo delivered the medicine around noon on Monday.

Riders Republic, which comprises businessmen, lawyers, doctors, civil contractors and entrepreneurs, among others, have extended its support to deliver medicines anywhere in the state or beyond, on their fleet of super bikes such as BMW GS1200, 1250, Ducati Multistrada and Harley Davidson.

So far, the team has made three long-distance trips—Chennai, Kerala and Mysuru.

In yet another instance, on Tuesday, architect and secretary of the group Dileep M. Vijaydev, 44, received a call from Guled’s office asking if some medicines could be delivered to an ailing Anganwadi teacher in Kolar district, about 70 km from Bengaluru. A quick message on Riders Republic’s WhatsApp group received an overwhelming response.

“We have tended to many such requests to deliver medicines," Guled said. A toll free number has been set up in the DCP’s office as well. Led by commissioner Bhaskar Rao, the Bengaluru city police have facilitated services to ferry people to hospitals and other emergencies.

With almost no traffic, the roads are near perfect to test these machines and their riders. But this time, the ride is about saving people’s lives.

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