World leaders are gathering to discuss the impact of climate change and chalk out ambitious plans to tackle the potential threat. Governments are committing to green investments and net-zero carbon emissions. Businesses are hopping onto the bandwagon with sustainable products.
With the pace of climate change intensifying, eco-awareness to protect the planet has become the buzzword and everyone knows something needs to be done. Awareness is great, but action is crucial and it is possible only when activism moves from devices to the ground.
The streets once witnessed the camaraderie of people, the place where the community was nurtured; relationships fostered. However, with the changing time, urbanization and modernization gained pace. As a result, the streets underwent a transformation and now are mostly encroached by polluting vehicles.
Understanding the need of the hour and to reclaim the streets, a group of volunteers in Karnataka's Bengaluru decided to kickstart an initiative to go vehicle-free and celebrate it as a "Cycle Day".
Over 200 people from across the city reached Malleshwaram, one of the city's oldest localities, on Sunday, November 28, to spread the idea of ditching vehicles and unite for a cause. Participants as young as seven and as old as fifty-two could be seen hopping onto their bicycles with members from CFAM (Council For Active Mobility) and Malleshwaram Social, a community group, for a short ride around the area.
Karnataka Higher Education Minister Dr CN Ashwath graced the event to lend his support and flag off the ride. Food and music accompanied the celebrations that lasted for about five-six hours.One of CFAM's recent campaigns to transform Bengaluru into a sustainable city has been gaining a lot of attention lately. With #My15MinCity, the group is advocating the idea of walking/cycling or using public transport for local trips—to shun motor vehicles for shorter routes.
Cycle Day is the longest-running open streets event in the country which started in October 2013. With participation from more than 50 community partners, as many as 500 cycle days have been celebrated till date. It was, however, discontinued amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and this particular celebration on November 28, 2021, marks the restarting of the initiative.
The Logical Indian applauds citizen-led efforts like these, that hold the vision and intention to create a pollution-free and liveable city through active community participation.