Published: 03rd September 2019
These T'puram school kids are giving old cycles a makeover to build their own Cycle Brigade
There will be membership cards via which the students will get to use a bicycle throughout the academic year. There are other initiatives as well to transform the district
If young school students turn up in front of your doorstep asking if you are in possession of worn-out cycles, don't get surprised. They are on a mission, taking part in a mammoth green initiative — the 'Cycle Brigade' being launched by the Thiruvananthpuram city corporation. This Onam vacation, the students will go bicycle hunting in their localities. The worn-out cycles will be given a facelift as part of the project and will be used in schools. This is just one among the many initiatives part of the Cycle Brigade project.
Picture this. Membership cards via which the students will get to use a bicycle throughout the academic year. This and more of such unique initiatives are being launched by the corporation to transform the district into a cycling hub. “The idea is to bring back the culture of cycling to the city. Earlier, we had outlets which would rent out bicycles at very affordable rates. There was a thriving bicycle culture here. With this project, we will have enough cycles to lend out, whereby students without any means to buy bicycles will be offered with an option to cycle. Membership cards will be given to students who can use the cycle for commuting throughout the academic year,” says a corporation official. The whole idea is to kick start an environmental revolution of sorts through promoting cycles for commuting among students.
The Mayor appealed to the public to donate their worn-out bicycles to corresponding health circles after which the bicycles will be repaired and donated to the cycle brigade team. The project of the corporation is being implemented by the city-based cycling club Indus Cycling Embassy (ICE). As part of the Cycle Brigade, cycling clubs will be formed in all the government schools. “A wide range of programmes will be held to promote cycling amongst the student community. There will be regular rides for students to someplace in the city, cycling repair workshops will be conducted in schools, cycle cinemas will be screened in schools and the cycle train concept will be implemented, whereby students will commute to school together, in cycles, joining from their locations. The idea is to bring the student community into the fold of cycling,” says Prakash P Gopinath, bicycle mayor of the city and founder of ICE. “It is a wild idea we are experimenting with. To turn Thiruvananthapuram into a bicycle capital of the country,” he adds.
The city will also get its own junior bicycle mayor by the end of December. “We will also select a junior bicycle mayor once the Cycle Brigade gets active. The junior bicycle mayor will be a senior student and will be elected by the students. S/He will be tasked with promoting cycling amongst the student community,” he adds.