Volunteer Doctor Cycles Across U.S. for Orbis
Many Orbis volunteers, past and present, who have met Dr. Parikshit Gogate on Orbis programs over the past decade think of him fondly as the kind, mild-mannered, slightly mischievous and always inspiring Volunteer Faculty pediatric ophthalmologist from India. But Dr. Gogate has taken on a new challenge for Orbis: swapping his usual scalpel and scrubs to serve as support driver on a team with 19 friends from medical school as they cycle across the United States to raise funds for Orbis.
The Race Across America (RAAM) is one of the most grueling endurance cycle races in the world. Dr. Gogate's team, the SightRiders, will be taking on the 3000 miles and 175,000 foot climbs across 12 states from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.
Not only is RAAM a challenging race, but it has become a huge platform for racers to raise awareness and money for charity. We are honored that the SightRiders team will be raising funds for Orbis’s newest pediatric program in Bihar, a low literacy, high poverty state in India where the prevalence of blindness is .78 percent compared to the national average of .3 percent.
Orbis is partnering with Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital (AJEH) in Bihar to establish the region’s first region’s first Children's Eye Center. Together we will equip and train the local eye health providers, and launch an outreach program utilizing local vision centers and mobile vision vans to reach the mostly rural population. Over the next six years, our goal is to provide over 8 million children with access to quality, affordable, and comprehensive eye health services across this region’s six districts.
You, too, could be a part of pioneering pediatric eye care in Bihar by supporting the SightRiders’ amazing cross-country fundraiser.
Follow the team’s journey by searching “Sahyadri Cyclists” on RAAM’s Live Tracker! The route travels west to east, traversing three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian), and crosses four of America’s longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio). The SightRiders will pass through iconic American landmarks such as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains and Gettysburg.