Unnicycles in Pune!

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From being the President of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to traversing the country on his bicycle, Dr. Unni Karunakara has set up a new benchmark for social awareness and participation in developing contact points throughout the country. His voyage is a journey of more than 100 days with a philanthropist cause. 

Dr. Unni on his bicycle

Dr. Unni on his bicycle

On Tuesday, December 3, Alliance Française de Pune welcomed Dr. Unni Karunakara, the outgoing International President of the renowned medical humanitarian aid organisation Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to the city. Dr. Unni has been involved in Internation health care for over 18 years and has been crusading assiduously for upgrading the quality of healthcare and securing life-saving medicines. He is cycling more than 5,000 kilometres (across ten states) in India, from Kashmir to Kerala, to raise money and increase awareness for MSF’s work, providing free-of-charge essential healthcare to the people most in need in the states of Bihar, Manipur, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland.
Dr. Unni along with Luc Didon, director of Alliance Française de Pune joined forces to host a special screening of the critically-acclaimed documentary “Fire in the Blood” in the serene landscaped gardens of the Tata Management Training Centre. The event was attended by members of Pune’s civil society, captains of industry, journalists and college students, who participated in a candid question-and-answer session that canvassed such topics as the effect of monopolies in the pharmaceutical industry, the impact of free trade agreements, and the need to keep medicines affordable for all. After the lively Q&A session, a small private dinner was held, where conversations continued well into the evening. Held on day 53 of Dr Unni’s tour, this event saw fruitful discussions, audience engagement and new discoveries, and was undoubtedly a highlight of the unnicycles tour.
Dr. Unni’s visit to Pune is one of 65 stops in cities, towns and villages across the country on the cycle tour, which fulfills a 25-year old dream of cycling the length of India to connect with people and open channels of communication about health. “I love to cycle. As a medical intern in India in 1988, I biked from Delhi to Leh and Srinagar to Delhi. I dreamt, 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,” says Dr. Unni.

Dr. Unni at one of the free medical camps

Dr. Unni at one of the free medical camps

Dr. Unni ended his three-year term as International President of MSF on 1st October. Just a few days later, on October 12th, his epic journey began, taking off from Srinagar in Jammu & Kashmir. His final destination is Trivandrum in Kerala, his home state, which he will reach after a grand expedition of more than 100 days on the road. To follow his journey, visit www.cycleforMSF.in.

 

 

 

– Esmeralda

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Rédaction

Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...