Strangely, I wake up earlier than usual on Sundays. Sunday is a day that I look forward to, to spend time with near & dear ones and sometime with oneself. The excitement of it all ensures that I wake up before 5 am on Sundays. The rest of the family does not seem to come from the same school of thought though. Now I have a reason to wake up the entire family at 6 am on Sundays. I did so today….because Equal Streets is back!
Equal Streets is a movement to reclaim lost open spaces in our urban centres. It is currently being organised on Sunday mornings between Bandra and Santacruz in Mumbai. It is variously known as Happy Streets, Raahgiri, etc in other locations. A few streets in a certain locality are closed for vehicular movement during a certain time span on Sundays and citizens are allowed to use these streets and open spaces; to cycle, to run, to play, to exercise and to have fun. Do my kids love it!
I saw so many cyclists, wearing fancy gear, on expensive bicycles. The crowd was beginning to increase in numbers around 8 am (it starts at 7 am), making it difficult for the fancy bi-cycles to navigate. But given the craze for selfies, I saw many of the cyclists taking their selfies; I guess their FB pages must be getting likes in thousands by now. In general, I have noticed the growth of bi-cycling in whichever city I go to in India. Many of these are from well-to-do families and/or senior executives in corporate organisations. Cycling is no more the poor man’s transport only. It makes me wonder if cycling is the new golf.
Well, so be it. If cycling or running marathons are the new ‘to do’ things, so be it. It is way better for us, as a society to adopt, than throwing a ball at ten pins on Friday evenings, balancing a beer on the other hand. By the way, why are they called pins??!!! If a Marathon picture gets more likes on our FB page than a check-in to a hotel in Geneva, I think we are on the right track.
The idea of Equal Streets originated in a small room, within a small team. The team at Gallopper recently met one of the co-founders, Sarika Bhatt. Watch a short video as Sarika talks passionately about what the movement is dong to our cities in “Godrej Interio Talk the Walk”.
This piece is written by Sibani Sarma, Founder CEO Gallopper