Relief Riders International (RRI) the award-winning, adventure-travel company that leads humanitarian expeditions on horseback through The Thar Desert of India is pleased to announce it is resuming its signature Relief Rides. RRI will expand into mystical Southern Rajasthan and incorporate a new humanitarian program in each of its Relief Rides scheduled for January and February of 2010.
Since its launch in 2004, RRI has been featured in “Outside Magazine,” “Forbes,” “National Geographic Adventure,” “O – the Oprah Magazine,” and the “Washington Post” for its inspiring mix of adventure travel and humanitarian aid.
These unique Relief Rides have not been available for the last year and a half as the Relief Riders International team focused on the creation of its sister company Relief Workers International (RWI) www.reliefworkersinternational.com. RWI’s successful inaugural January 2009 expedition provided travelers not interested in riding horses the opportunity to bring much needed medical care to remote communities of The Rann of The Kutch region of Gujarat, India.
The Relief Rides combine breathtaking rides on magnificent Marwari horses through some of the most beautiful landscapes in India with much-needed humanitarian programs. Riders volunteer their time to distribute books and school supplies to children and help provide basic but vital healthcare services for villagers in rural communities. Over the years, the lives of thousands of villagers have been changed for the better, and dozens of riders have been transformed by the experience.
During its past eight Relief Rides, RRI has provided treatment for blindness, general and pediatric medical care, educational supplies, and famine relief for over 15,000 villagers, of which 7,800 were children.
For its 2010 trips, RRI will be adding free dental care to its extensive medical care program for rural villagers. According to Alexander Souri, executive director of RRI: “I am thrilled to be returning to Rajasthan after a year’s absence. It is good to be seeing new areas of a region I have come to love and be providing care to people I have yet to meet. Our new dental camp program will be offering dental treatments and minor surgeries. Like our other groundbreaking humanitarian programs, it brings much-needed aid to people who may otherwise never have had access to this type of care.”
RRI will be riding in the culturally-vibrant region located in the Pali district, three hours from Udaipur. he region is known for its electrifying landscapes, exotic wildlife, and wandering Sadhus, who roamed the desert in ancient times in search of sacred ground for the magnificent temples of this beautiful section of The Thar Desert.
The 15-day Narlai Relief Ride begins on Monday, January 18, 2010 in Delhi. The Rawla Narlai will serve as the initial base camp and departure point for the Relief Ride. This simple yet elegant 17th century hunting retreat once owned by the Maharaja of Jodhpur lies in the heart of the arid Aravelli Hills. The area is known for its large granite rocks surrounded by hills dotted with temples and ancient caves once inhabited by the wandering Sadhus.
The Relief Ride from Narlai to Neemaj will traverse sandy dunes and granite strewn moonscapes. This stunning landscape is home to Sāmbhar deer, water buffalo, and Blue Bulls. The route explores areas filled with the beautiful sounds of exotic birds seeking the cool sanctuary of khejri trees surrounding a tranquil lake.
At Gudha Akheraj, much-needed livestock will be delivered to villagers, while children are treated for worms and provided with essential school supplies. Riders will camp overnight in exquisite tented encampments.
This adventurous and meaningful humanitarian experience culminates in Nimaaj with RRI’s powerful new humanitarian program, a two-day Dental Camp led by Dr. Vivek Chaturvedi and staffed by three dental surgeons. The Dental camp offers free dental treatments, with a focus on minor dental surgery.
The Luni Relief Ride runs from Saturday, February 20, 2010 through Sunday, March 7, 2010, offers the same unique blend of adventure on horseback and humanitarian relief. The majestic Fort Luni, built in 1894, will serve as the initial base camp and departure point for this Relief Ride in to the Mewar region en route to the Rawla Narlai. Villagers in Roopawas, Hemawas, Baanta, Bordi, and Narlai will benefit from RRI’s medical, livestock, and educational programs.
“As exciting as it was to offer our Relief Worker’s experience to non-riders in Gujarat, it’s a joy for me to return to my roots.” Souri noted. “There is nothing quite like riding Marwari horses through Rajasthan to help others.”