Indore: Inspiring people to cycle to work, 38-year-old Dr Rajpal Singh has successfully motivated 20 of his colleagues at Choithram Hospital in the last three years by regularly cycling to the hospital for his usual rounds.
Sharing his ideology, Singh said, “In order to bring changes, one has to set an example and not just advocate benefits.” He explained that many people talked about the importance of cycling but they did not practise it.
“Preaching does not work. I set an example and people came and asked me why I was doing it,” Singh said. Being maverick is never easy and it was not easy for him either.
“Initially, when I wore my gears and cycled to hospital, people would stare at me and and even mock,” Singh shared. However, his message won over people’s jeers and ultimately, he was able to gather positive feedback.
“My colleagues stopped talking bad and started supporting me, when they saw me losing weight,” Singh said. He elaborated that healthy weight loss was among the various benefits of cycling that attracted people.
While he regularly cycles to hospital, his wife Dr Anshu Singh cannot. “She loves cycling, but I am not comfortable with her cycling on these busy streets, where women are barely safe in cars,” Singh said.
He explained that chaotic traffic without separate tracks for cyclist impedes cyclists from switching over from cars. “With cars blaring horns and motorbikes cutting ways, cyclist cannot survive in mixed traffic lanes,” Singh said.
Elaborating on changes that can help in bringing up cycle as an alternative mode of transport, he stressed the importance of protected cycle track. “We need to provide ways with protection. Physical protection of track and change in mindset is must for these changes,” Singh said. Further, he stressed the importance of protection for women in these lanes.
Bicycle track coming up in Kolkata
Salt Lake and its surrounding areas of Kolkata are set for more development. The Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) has come up with a number of development plans to give the state’s IT hub a makeover. NDITA officials said with about 1.5 lakh people coming to Sector V everyday for work, and with a residential population of 400, there is a definite need to spruce up the civic infrastructure. The plans include setting up a Town Hall-like building, green landscaping to beautify the Salt Lake Bypass and setting up a food court and multi-storied car park. Among other major decisions is developing a bicycle track along the Salt Lake Bypass stretch that connects Sector V to EM Bypass.