Hyderabad: Relief Riders, a group of cyclists in Hyderabad, have started an initiative to deliver medicines to elderly citizens who are unable to come out of their homes due to COVID-19 cases in their localities.

Taking inspiration from Bengaluru Cyclists, the Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad, Santhana Selvan, launched the initiative on 30 April. Any elderly citizen can now call 9566170334 or 9629557566 between 6 a.m and 10 a.m, provide details of their medicines, and the cyclist will deliver them to their doorsteps.

Santhana Selvan, a city-based IT professional and cycling enthusiast, has been chosen by Amsterdam-based social enterprise Bycs as the Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad. As the Bicycle Mayor, Selvan's role is to involve various stakeholders in the city, including government and non-governmental bodies and the public, to promote bicycle culture in the city.

"This is an initiative from the cycling community. The Bicycle Mayor of Bengaluru had started a similar initiative last year. We started ours two days ago, taking inspiration from them," said Selvan.

He added that any elderly persons who don't want to come out of their homes due to COVID-19 can call the cyclists and ask for any medicine. "Depending on their area, we will post their requirements on our WhatsApp group. The volunteer in that area will buy the medicine and give it to the elderly person," explained Selvan.

He said he has collaborated with Happy Hyderabad Cycling Group led by Dinesh and Hyderabad Cyclist Group for the initiative. "Most of the volunteers are from these groups. We have 30 volunteers and are expecting around 100 more to join us," he added.

The volunteers, he said, are from various professional backgrounds. Since they work during the day, they have chosen to volunteer during the morning hours. "We are taking precautions while delivering the medicines. We wear masks and use sanitizers," said Selvan.

Selvan added that this will continue till things return to normal.

Anyone who wishes to volunteer and join the group can click on this link https://chat.whatsapp.com/GlNLNxgh4kL6feroXszr7f and join.

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