Hundreds of people from the five Garo hills districts participated in the first-ever Green Tour Garo Hills Cyclothon on Thursday.
The 46-odd-kilometre cycle marathon took off from Tura in West Garo Hills, about 323km from Shillong on a day when a 12-hour statewide shutdown called by pro inner-line permit (ILP) pressure groups was in force. The marathon culminated at Ampati in South West Garo Hills.
Dubbed as a first-of-its-kind in the entire Northeast, the cycle marathon was jointly organised by the district administrations of West Garo Hills and Southwest Garo Hills in collaboration with William Initiative and Northern United Club. The objective of the event was to promote green and healthy habits, preserve cultural heritage and encourage cycling as a mode of transport among the people of the region.
Meghalaya sports and youth affairs minister Zenith M. Sangma flagged off the cyclothon from Tura Law College field while chief minister Mukul M. Sangma received the cyclists at Ampati mini stadium.
The chief minister also gave away cash prizes worth Rs 50,000, Rs 20,000 and Rs 10,000 to the first three position-holders in both the menís and womenís section.
Other attractions at Ampati included an exhibition and sale of local cuisine, inter- locality tug of war, under-15 bicycle race and slow race.
Text by our correspondent and Telegraph picture