Of all the developmental issues that are discussed at various events, seminars and competitions, the one aspect that actually brings people to such events – Mobility – is often the most neglected.
IISc was the venue for the 2nd Indian Bio Diversity Congress (IBC) held in Bangalore from 9th December to 11th December 2012 and we at Namma Cycle were happy to have many participants and dignitaries at the Conference make good use of Namma Cycle to move around the campus.
We were honored to have two eminent people – Prof. R Sukumar and Ms. Malika Virdi get onto our cycles.
Murali was planning on meeting Prof. R Sukumar to discuss the acceptance and inclusion of Bicycle as an important factor for Bio Diversity, and there he was – resting at one of our Namma Cycle stations! Were we glad! We talked at length about the benefits of cycling and how people tend to stop cycling for various reasons. Prof. R Sukumar remarked that he hadn’t been on a cycle for more than 15 years and was happy to be able to cycle after such a long time, even it was for a few minutes.
Prof. R Sukumar, the working chairman of IBC 2012, is a Professor at the Center for Ecological Sciences at IISc. His work on Asian Elephants has been published into three books.
Serendipity struck again as Malika Virdi came down all the way from the Himalayas to participate in the Green Politics session at the Conference just when Lavanya was planning to visit her at her place.
As we went around the campus with Malika and Leo Saldana’s family, we made the mistake of asking her if she can cycle about 100 kms (may be to Mysore). She answered by saying she had cycled from Delhi to Bhopal!!
Malika Virdi is a mountain farmer and former Sarpanch of the Sarmoli-Jainti Van Panchayat in Munsiari, Uttarakhand – a beautiful place nestled in the Greater Himalaya. She was also part of the first All Women Trans-Himalayan trekking expedition in 1997.
Coming back to the Conference, Ride A Cycle Foundation appealed for Bicycle to be seen as an important factor for conserving Bio Diversity.
Here is the full text of the appeal.
Ride A Cycle Foundation sees an urgent need to reduce emissions from automobiles which are causing air and sound pollution and degradation of diverse life in the city. We believe bicycling as a means of commute will significantly reduce the damage to the natural environment and improve the health of human beings. Bicycle as a vehicle can integrate man back to nature and help him discover himself in totality with nature. Bicycle as a vehicle that moves in silence causes least disturbance to the life around and hence plays a pivotal role in conserving bio diversity. Bicycle as a Zero Emission Vehicle increases the vitality of the life around.
Keeping in mind the above points, Ride A Cycle Foundation appeals to the delegates and participants of IBC 2012 to conserve Bio Diversity by promoting Cycling.
We request The Indian Bio Diversity Congress to pass these resolutions to protect Bio Diversity specifically in Urban Landscapes.
·Strongly advocate creation of green infrastructure which will provide for resilient biodiversity with adequate and safe passage for pedestrians and cyclists.
·Request Colleges/Offices/Institutions/Hospitals/Corporates to Encourage cycling by forming cycling clubs, Bicycle User Groups (BUGs) and walking groups who will by their regular proactive action will commit to restoring and enhancing biodiversity in the city by their behavior.
·Ask local municipality to implement Public Bicycle Sharing in all Indian Cities, so that Bicycle becomes the most preferred vehicle of commute in the Indian Urban Landscape.