Hyderabad: A passionate runner, social activist and adventure sports enthusiast, Rituraj Vasanth Karthik is a Hyderabadi youngster who is behind the initiative – Hyderabad Kites – that enables people to pursue their dream through building specific micro-communities.
So far, the initiative has the creation and sustaining of over 20 communities, in the avenues of art and culture, photography, Yoga/spirituality, adventure sports, running, etc. Apart from this, through their initiatives like TEA – Think, Enable, Act, the group meets and conducts discussions on fitness, environment, lifestyle, addiction, and more.
The story behind its inception is akin to a phoenix rising from its ashes, as Rituraj shares, “I struggled to find a job after my college as my rural background didn’t give me the communication and personality skills necessary to land myself a job. While I did eventually land a job, I wasn’t happy with it as I felt I’d be a better fit somewhere else and that is when I met with a severe accident that left multiple bones broken and my leg was injured pretty badly.”
Owing to his lifestyle back then, he was in a pre-diabetic condition and the doctors actually suggested amputation for the leg. The computer science graduate then decided to overcome it and picked up running. “I drastically changed my lifestyle and I started running after recovering and now I am an ambassador for several big runs in the country,” shares Rituraj, who has now finished more than 1,500 kilometres of running barefoot.
But why barefoot? To this, he says, “After I picked up running, there was a time when I was under the Ayyappa deeksha and I wanted to take part in a run. I did it barefoot and then I realised I can as well do all of my runs barefoot. Now, as I am also into environmental activism and want to spread awareness on being environmentally conscious, I run barefoot as it symbolises my connection to nature.”
These experiences made him want to take such activities to the community level and Hyderabad Kites became an initiative of 200+ active members, having benefited over 1,500 people in the past three years.
As to the choice of the name, “A kite flies high but the thread enables the kite. Just like the kite, one can fly high if their skills are strong like the thread that enables the kite to stay afloat. Many are stuck in jobs that they hate or don’t have a platform to explore their skills. Hyderabad Kites aims to do just that,” says the Karmaveer Chakra 2019 awardee.
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