| Ram Kumar Naskar on his bicycle in Jorhat.
Telegraph picture |
Jorhat, May 21: Ram Prasad Naskar is a man on a mission. The geography teacher from West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district has been travelling the length and breadth of the country on his bicycle, visiting the Pollution Control Board in every state capital to raise awareness about global warming.
Naskar embarked on his journey on December 18 last year and last evening, after covering almost 15,000km, he rolled into Jorhat with two banners — one in the front and one at the back — fluttering on his bicycle.
The Sarva Shiksha Mission para-teacher at Sripur Siksha Sadan High School said he cycles about 150-160km per day and proceeded to Nagaland today. While visiting the Pollution Control Board office in every city, Naskar delivers a brochure on the potential threat of pollution to our planet.
“I am passionate about saving Mother Earth from the ill-effects of greenhouse gases, the majority of which are produced by industries and the transportation sector. I tell authorities about the bad effects of global warming on our ecology, which might lead to extinction of life on our planet, and also remind them about their responsibility,” he said.
He said various measures could be implemented to reduce greenhouse gases, like the green lane project in Gujarat or planting trees on roadsides.
Naskar arrived at Gossaingaon in Assam on May 7, visited Guwahati, then went to Shillong in Meghalaya before proceeding to Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh. He came back to Lakhimpur in Assam and then came to Jorhat by ferry, via the river island of Majuli.
“I had to see Majuli, the world’s largest inhabited freshwater island,” he said.
S. Karmakar, the technical superintendent of the mechanical engineering department of Jadavpur University in Calcutta, had chalked out the route that Naskar is following. He also banks on a road atlas, which he bought in Kanyakumari. Naskar said the journey has cost him about Rs 80,000 till now. Apart from his own contribution, the employees of Jadavpur University chipped in and West Bengal Sports minister Madan Mitra contributed Rs 10,000.
To save money, Naskar sometimes spends the night at a dharamshala, dhaba or even on the roadside under sheds if the weather is fine.
He hopes to complete his “national cycle rally to purify the earth from global warming due to pollution” in June.
After Nagaland, he will go to Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura.
Naskar said he didn’t encounter too many problems during his journey, as he was on a “peace ride to spread awareness against a threat to earth’s existence.”
He said he had earlier undertaken such an initiative in West Bengal in October 2010 and in December-January 2012-13.