This is an initiative in Gurgaon, supported by the Administration and citizens groups to reclaim the streets for non-motorized transport and just for the people. Since Sunday the 19th of November, approximately 4 KM stretch of road is cordoned off for vehicles between 7 am and noon. After an initial slow start, it has been growing in attendance every week – and this despite the chilly December-January weather.
Being supporters of the initiative, we have been trying to go every Sunday. The children love the hassle free cycling opportunity and even Aadyaa at 5+ does the complete circuit on her bicycle. By 9-10 am, the place has a carnival like atmosphere – and this despite the fact that no food stalls or other commercial activities are allowed. On an earlier visit I had volunteered to help a group that is trying to put fluorescent reflectors on cycles and rikshaws to increase their visibility. They asked me if I could help out this morning and so I was at the stall by 8am. Since, the company is not willing to sponsor the activity, the cost is around Rs 30/cycle and Rs 150/rikshaw. It is provided free to the less privileged and the cost is met by donations.
This morning there were walkers of all ages, many with prams and push carts – I saw an elderly gentleman on a battery operated wheel chair. There were people on roller skates and skate boards and large number of cyclists. There are cycles for hire and the music is on all the time at various locations where Yoga and various group exercise activities go on. People were also playing football, cricket and badminton. There were lots of kids fr0m the under privileged areas of the city – totally at home and dancing away to the music.
So all in all, a well spent morning