SwitchON Foundation, an NGO with a pan-India presence, in partnership with cycle groups organised a cycling and plastic pick-up drive for nearly 50km in Ranchi to mark World Bicycle Day on Saturday.
“We organised the plastic pick-up drive in line with the theme of World Environment Day (on June 5) #Beat Plastic Pollution, thereby creating awareness among people about curbing plastic pollution and proper management of plastic waste during the cycle rally,” said Gargi Maitra, outreach lead and new initiative manager of SwitchON Foundation.
Cyclists from various prominent cycle groups like Vivekananda Youth Cycle Club, Cycle Dost, Ranchi Cycling Club, Green Pedal, and Alumina Club (Hindalco) took part in the drive that began from Morabadi reached Patratu before returning to the starting point.
“We have approached Ranchi Smart City Corporation Limited and state road transport to collaborate as a knowledge and technical partner on a pro bono basis to promote clean and green transportation,” Maitra added.
Managing director of SwitchON Foundation, Vinay Jaju, said: “Cycling is a simple, affordable and environment-friendly commute that can be adopted by each and every citizen. On this day, let’s join hands to pedal for a future that is free from pollution and congestion.”
According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), around 66.3 per cent of the households in Jharkhand own a bicycle.
“This gives Ranchi an edge in adopting the cycling culture in the city. The cyclists were successful in creating awareness among people by shouting slogans and distributing posters on the importance of cycling and against the use of single-use plastic. The cyclists pedalled and picked up plastic waste lying on the roadside and deposited them in the garbage bins,” Jaju added.
Avipreet Singh, the winner of 50km cycling at Ranchi Cyclothon 2023, said: “I thank the foundation and its partners for organising a cycle rally along with a plastic collection drive. This will not only reduce our carbon footprint but also foster a culture of health and well-being. Together,let’s pedal towards a better future.”
Kanishka Poddar, the bicycle mayor of Ranchi, said: “Let’s join hands and pledge to ride towards a future free from plastic. Embrace the power of two wheels and beat the plastic waste. Together we can spin a sustainable revolution inspiring others to pedal for a planet that thrives with every turn.”
SwitchON Foundation has already suggested the Smart City Corporation and the state transport department to promote/ incentivise cycling and sustainable mobility in Ranchi, ramp up protection for women cyclists and night-time riders, and create more cycle parking spaces. It has also recommended campaigns for more cycling and cycle-related infrastructure.