Of Cycle and Cycling
A recent picture of PM Narendra Modi on the gifted cycle by Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands was all that needed me to write about how wonderful Netherlands is and how we Indian’s need to be inspired and learn from these Eur open modern counterparts.
Dutch as the people are called there, are teaching the world the Eco-friendly and rather the most healthiest way of living- CYCLING.
Cycling is a very popular mode of transportation in the Netherlands and bike routes can be found in most major cities. The Netherlands’ capital and largest city, Amsterdam, has 400 km of bike lanes. The city has the largest cycle parking lots, even in stations. The Dutch love getting around on two wheels, notably even their cycles are not fancy types, just a basic one.
Most of the city have dedicated bike paths, even button to request crossing (red signals). The country has encouraged and moreover maintained a very high standard for cycling. This is exactly what we need in India, embracing the concept of cycling in our day to day life.
Imagine, we Goan’s riding to the nearest market to buy fish, or grocery or to drop our kids to school, to go to church /temples. As stated, cycling is environment-friendly and reduces traffic congestion. But biking also contributes to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. Several medical guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity daily. This will save us the medical bills, reduce health issue and save thousand from petrol cost.
Clearly, Goa nor India, is encouraging us to be so health/environment conscious, but such small baby steps is all that we need from us to start. Not only a change in infrastructure but also in mind-set has to be achieved before cycling becomes as normal and as common as in the Netherlands. Encourage yourself to make that change, and suggest others. Put forth a proposal for cycle path in village in the Gram Sabha meeting, of course it wont be accepted right away, atleast the benefit can be heard.
Let’s strive to make a healthy and Eco-friendly difference.