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Lokvani Talks To Ravijit Paintal

Nirmala Garimella
08/01/2012

On August 4th, at 5.30am, Ravijit Paintal will begin his two day bike ride along with thousands of other riders to raise funds for cancer research. His  ride will begin at Sturbridge and end at Provincetown, a 192 miles journey. This is Ravi’s sixth year taking on the Pan -Mass Challenge (PMC), a bike-a-thon for charity. The challenge attracts cyclists from 36 states and eight countries to ride for the PMC. Approximately 300 of the riders are cancer survivors themselves.

A longtime Lexington resident Ravi and his wife Lotika recently made a career move to Toronto but manage to make frequent trips back here to visit friends and take part in this ride. The couple have done the ride together twice and jointly raised money for the Dana- Farber Cancer Institute through its Jimmy Fund. Ravi’s commitment to the cause is total, “I will ride as long as I can physically do it. What motivates me to keep going is the incredible enthusiasm and energy of the riders, the survivors and the people/volunteers who cheer you on the way with smiles and signs of encouragement. It is a very moving experience and difficult to describe in words”.

How did you get involved in the PMC?: Back in 1995, a colleague of mine approached me to get involved in the PMC. My interest was piqued and although at the time I supported it by writing a check which I continued for many subsequent years, I always intended to take a more active role in the challenge.  In 2006, my aunt  was diagnosed with cancer and it was time for me to do more than write a check. A friend persisted – “Ravi you have to sign up” and urged me to “get on my bike”  so I started training with a team of 4 colleagues from work.

What do you enjoy the most about the ride?: You learn a few things when training for a challenge of this nature.  One, It makes you physically fit as you train hard for three to four months before the event.  Two, It helps you raise money from family and friends who give generously and are overwhelmingly supportive. It is really touching how people from all walks of life come together to encourage you when you least expect it. Three, the ride itself is exhilarating. You see people come out and cheer you on the road, early in the morning with signs, smiles and refreshments. One ride and I was hooked.

Personal Motivation: A few years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Leukemia and thanks to research and treatment for her disease she is in remission and  disease-free. She is 87 years old and an amazingly active woman. Although she lives in India, she travels often oversees to visit me and my siblings, remains fiercely independent and extremely active in counseling cancer patients and their families in her community in Delhi. She is a true inspiration as a survivor of the disease.

Since Ravi and Lotika started riding in the PMC they have raised a total of  over $45,000. This year Ravi has set a fundraising target of $10,000. You can help support his cause by going to http://www.pmc.org/profile/RP0074

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Ravi has been with  Exova Inc in Mississauga, Canada since September 2010. Prior to Exova, he worked in Boston with Cabot Corporation and The Boston Consulting Group. Before moving to the US in 1994, Ravi worked on the international staff with Schlumberger Ltd, an oilfield services company

Ravi holds a B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from IIT, Delhi and an MBA from Harvard Business School. His wife Lotika and he, travel frequently between Toronto and Lexington as they have homes in both places. Their son Akshay works in Washington DC and daughter Piya is a Junior in university, currently doing a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile.

 

 

 



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