Green ride with healthy heart

IIT-Patna is the new Cambridge - at least in promoting bicycles.

By Roshan Kumar
  • Published 11.08.15
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IIT-Patna is the new Cambridge - at least in promoting bicycles.

Most of the students in the sprawling engineering cradle at Bihta are using bicycles for moving from one place to other - popular in universities worldwide.

Several students claimed that as the campus is huge spread over an area of 500 acres with hostels and different academic blocks located at a distance, the best and cheap mode of transport is using bicycles. Akhil Shukla, a fourth-year student at IIT-Patna, said: "Using bicycles for reaching the academic block from hostel not only saves time but also it is eco-friendly."

As different academic blocks at the IIT-Patna campus are at a distance of 1-1.75km, students pedalling cycles also do a lot of exercise.

Bicycle as an easy mode of transport has been seen even in office campuses like Infosys. For its employees in the Bangalore centre, the IT giant distributed free bicycles to its employees for promoting pollution-free environment as well as easy access to office buildings.

Bicycling in Cambridge University is so popular that hardly any student or a faculty member is seen moving in a car. Its bicycle stands are famous across the world. Several universities also emulated the Cambridge model to promote cycling on campus. IIT-Patna is almost on the same path to take the eco-friendly way.

Back home, bicycling is popular on several academic campuses like Banaras Hindu University, IITs in Kharagpur and Guwahati.

BICYCLE DIARIES

In the IIT-Patna's Bihta campus, which also hosted the institute's third convocation last Thursday, around 200 students have already bought cycles and they are using the eco-friendly mode of transport regularly. They are also encouraging other students to buy bicycles. Bicycles are not only used for moving at different places within the campus, the budding techies also use bicycles to reach to Bihta town whenever it is required.

An IIT Patna student on condition of anonymity said: "Though all necessary items are available within the campus, many a time we have to go out to Bihta for purchasing some general stationery and other items. Bicycles become very handy on such occasions."

Some of the IIT Patna students are also planning to approach Bihta-based Hero Cycles plant, which started operation this year, for purchasing cycles from the company directly. As the students are using their own funds for purchasing bicycles, the idea behind approaching Hero Cycles is to get rebate if the IIT-Patna students purchase bicycles in bulk.

Spread over an area of 500 acres, the Bihta campus was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month. Around 1,000 students from different engineering branches study at the Bihta campus, around 40km southwest of Patna.

The other aspect of using bicycles is health issue. Doctors consider cycling a good exercise. According to Patna-based physician Diwakar Tejaswi, cycling is one of the best exercises. Tejaswi said: "Cycling helps in exercising the cardiac muscles leading to pumping of blood to different parts of body. Cycling also helps in keeping good the metabolic activities due to which a student is not only physically alert but he or she is also mentally fit."

Regular cycling has major health benefits with stress can be controlled with lower blood pressure level, healthy heart and muscle exercise. "Only swimming can come close to cycling so far as daily exercise is concerned," said another doctor.

The budding techies going for cycling is not new, as in IT hubs like Bangalore and Hyderabad people love cycling their way to work. Even techies are turning into role models for many office-goers in the city. To escape the rising fuel price and traffic congestion, a number of IT professionals are riding bicycles to work with even riding up to 10-15km a day. Almost all the major companies in and around the IT hubs in Bangalore and Hyderabad have formed a small group of enthusiastic cycle riders.

Another IIT-Patna student signed off with a quote of Einstein: "The great scientist said - Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. We are just trying to do that."