Pedalling to save planet Earth

ECO-FRIENDLY

Pedalling to save planet Earth

Every morning, Jasleen Singh, a Std VIII student of St Columba’s, gets up rubbing his eyes for his day at school. But last Saturday, he woke up much earlier as it was not just his regular day but a fun-filled morning where he could indulge in his favourite sport, cycling – that too for a cause. He drove down to WWF India’s office and mingled with the other 200 plus cyclists present there, eagerly waiting for the Earth Hour Cyclothon 2013 to be flagged off.

On the green signal, these cyclists pedalled away to cover a 16 kilometer track set around Lodhi Estate, Max Mueller Marg, Sujan Singh Park, Khan Market Metro Station, Golf Links, Bharti Nagar  and back to Lodhi Road. This was completed in three laps by cyclists who wanted to lend their support for the upcoming Earth Hour. The cyclothon, thus, was a precursor to the one hour ‘lights off', which will be observed across the world on March 23 as a symbolic gesture towards saving our planet from climate change.

Jasleen said, “I enjoy cycling to my school and tuition centre from home and back. When my friend informed me about the cyclothon, I decided to participate in the cause. It was not just fun to pedal on the roads with traffic being directed to leave way for us cyclists but a memorable experience as there were so many participants.”

Many signed up for the cause and instead of driving, they cycled to the venue from as far as Gurgaon. Apart from groups like Pedal Yatris, Pedal Pushers and Pedalholics, even just cycle enthusiasts, like jewellery designer Vanya Dhingra, decided to join friends. “I cycle with my friends every weekend. It is so much fun, so we all decided to be part of this cyclothon. This is my first time at such an event and I was impressed with the manner in which volunteers were stationed at every point to stop motorists from entering the lane for cyclists. I wish it happens otherwise as well,” shared Vanya who feels that it is important to develop Delhi's infrastructure to enable  people to cycle more.

A similar thought is shared by Ravi Singh, secretary general and CEO, WWF-India, “We issued a report where we suggested that either side of the old waterways (nallahs) in Delhi could be dedicated to cyclists. This will not take away the width of existing roads and also enable Delhiites to take up cycling as a matter of choice rather than necessity.” Making Delhi a clean and green city!

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