With about 15 million new cases of cancer detected globally and around 8 million people dying every year, cancer is among the leading causes of death worldwide. It can be easy to feel powerless with numbers like that, but one person is doing what he can to at least slow cancer’s roll. Anirban Acharya began a solo, multi-nation bicycle expedition raise awareness of the disease, educating people on how to minimize risk, adopt healthy habits and nutrition, and encourage testing to increase early detection. Since the start of his journey on June 6, 2015, he has traveled through India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and most recently Cambodia on his mountain bike, delivering his message mainly to students in schools and colleges.
Anirban Acharya in CamboTicket’s office
Originally from West Bengal, Kolkata, Anirban was inspired to go cycling around South East Asia by the books he read as a child. “Since my school days, I was involved with adventure sports and I want to do something challenging,” Anirban confessed. “I got my inspiration from various books which I read during my school days.” Before he embarked on his trip, Anirban was a marketing executive at an architectural firm in Kolkata, but gave up his lucrative job to volunteer for Srishti, an NGO working for cancer patients in West Bengal, and undertook training at the Indian Cancer Society in New Delhi. Cancer has hit the city of West Bengal particularly hard. According to recent news stories, West Bengal reportedly has at least half of India’s cancer patients. Every year, 85,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed annually, and almost 40,000 die every year due to cancer. As a graduate of sciences and a cultural explorer, photographer and trained mountaineer, Anirban was perfectly suited to take on his mission of cancer awareness and better living. He hopes to travel to 100 countries around the world by the year 2020 with the support of donations and his partnerships with the Rotary Club and Youth Hostels Association of India.
Anirban during one of his interventions
At the moment, he is in India recovering from a broken leg incurred during an accident in Phnom Penh; but this unfortunate accident gave CamboTicket the opportunity to learn about his journey! Inspired by his mission, CamboTicket helped him on his journey home to recover, with the promise to spread his message far and wide. If you would like to support Acharya, please visit his page on Facebook.