At fifteen years old, Manasvi Baheti rode a tandem with her father from Manali in Himachal Pradesh to the Khardung La mountain pass in Jammu & Kashmir. Something that most people will not accomplish in their lifetime and she also accomplished this while being legally blind. Manasvi and her father Kailash’s adventure was part of an initiative that has been touted as India’s first blind-and-sighted tandem expedition in the Himalayas and they were one of 10 pairs who rode through Manali-Leh-Khardung La in less than two weeks.  Manasvi was the youngest participant on record!

The expedition was organized by Adventure Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF), which aims to promote inclusion by enabling people with disabilities and those without to participate in adventure sports together. Founded in 2014, ABBF works across five verticals — trekking, scuba diving, paragliding and mountaineering.

Divyanshu Ganatra is India’s first solo blind paraglider, trekker, mountaineer, scuba diver, marathoner, and first blind pillion cyclist to ride from Manali to Khardung La. He is also a clinical psychologist, two-time entrepreneur, public speaker and founder of ABBF. “Losing sight myself, I witnessed first-hand all the stigma and shame that was often associated with people with disability. Instead of raging against the world, I realized that much of it was rooted in ignorance, not malice.”, states Ganatra. Thus, ABBF, a not-for-profit organization committed to spreading awareness, was established in Pune, India.  ABBF sportspeople have, amongst other things, collected an impressive string of numbers in their wake – participated in dozens of marathons across the country, gone on several inclusive treks as well as reached out to over 3500 people with disabilities and 1.5 lakh people from the mainstream community!