Green lifestyle statement: Bangalore kids cycle to school

Bangalore, Nov 21 ( A group of girls near the busy Old Airport Road in India’s tech hub Bangalore bicycle to school every day as a lifestyle statement — green transport is cool.

“Eight of my friends and I ride our bicycles to school every day. We don’t use public transport. We ride bicycles as they are safer and environment-friendly,” Seema P, a student of Class 8 of Sacred Heart Girls High School, HAL, Bangalore, told Inditop.

Rahul Mishra, a student Class 10 at St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Museum Road, in the heart of the city, said the same. “I love to ride my bicycle. Bicycle causes no pollution and is an environment-friendly mode of transport. I come to school every day in my bicycle.”

Karnataka’s Transport Department is trying to spread this lifestyle statement to reduce congestion in this jammed city. Recently, it organised a Bicycle Eco Rally among school children at Malleswaram Grounds here. Around 200 school children took part.

“Commuting by bicycle and bus are the best solutions to ease traffic congestion on city roads. We want school children to ride their bicycles to school. It’s good for their health and will save the environment from pollution caused by emission of greenhouse gases,” Transport Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.

“The rally was to encourage school children to take to cycling. We will organise a few more rallies in the coming months and will invite school children to take part. We are also talking to authorities of schools across the city to encourage cycling,” he added.

The authorities’ initiative has been supported by Bangalore-based RideACycle Foundation. This not-for-profit advocacy group promotes sustainable transport, responsible travel and environmentally and socially responsible bicycling opportunities in Bangalore.

“Our main aim is to create awareness among the city’s denizens about the virtues of using cycles as a mode of transport. We want to make cycles a popular mode of transport that would help in addressing global warming and pollution,” Arun Katiyar, a member of the foundation, said.

Some have started cycling to work as well.

“It’s been two years since I have taken to cycling. Cycling is the best way to fight vehicular pollution. I ask my friends and acquaintances to adopt cycling. Hope more people in the city adopt cycling to reduce pollution on city roads and adopt better lifestyle,” said Rohini Nair, an IT professional.

However, the main grouse of the cyclists across the city is that riding a bicycle on Bangalore’s busy roads is a difficult task.

Cyclists constitute 15 percent of the traffic and the organisations promoting cycling are sure more people will take to it if some space is made available to them.

According to figures available with Bangalore police, the city of seven million people has 3.4 million vehicles — 70 percent two-wheelers, 15 percent cars, 10 percent buses and five percent auto rickshaws.