Come Tuesday, several residents from Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, as well as Kandivli, will join a world community to promote the World Car Free Day 2009, for the first time in the city. Along with several office-goers across UK, USA, South America and New Zealand, the participants will abandon their private automobiles for public transport and bicycles to promote eco-friendly day-to-day commuting. In a string of awareness campaigns beginning at 9.30 am and continuing till 5.30 pm, school students will also promote car pooling, public transport and walking as viable and easy options.

“The Car Free Day is our attempt to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated society. Since this is the first time Mumbai will participate in the drive, we have decided to involve children in the programmes,” explained Elsie Gabriel, founder of the Young Environmentalists Porgramme Powai. The programme will include a cycle rally at Thakur complex Kandivli at 9.30 am wherein 100 cyclists of different age groups will ply on the streets in peak hour traffic, holding up banners and messages imploring commuters to join the awareness campaign.

According to Nafisa Bhinderwala, the principal of Children’s Academy School, her students would participate in the campaign and are also conducting a survey on the pollution arising out of the vehicles on the road.

Bhinderwala said, “Carbon emissions are responsible for the dramatic rise in global temperatures. We are already seeing the consequences and it is time to act. Governments and scientists can’t solve this problem alone. Each one of us is responsible and each one of us must be part of the solution.”

Gabriel said, “The Carfree Project is a broad, emerging network brought together by a shared belief that carsare far too dominant in most modern cities. The goal of the movement is to create places where car use is greatly reduced or eliminated, and to liberate road and parking space for public use.”

Gabriel hoped that the first-time campaign in the city would encourage people to walk, bike or ride mass transit. “We don’t want to force people to participate in the event. Our aim is to increase awareness about how traveling by bus, train, bikes or pooling cars would not only reduce emission, but also keep the clutter off the street and make daily commuting much easier and faster,” she added.

Cycle rally at 4.30pm on the 22nd of September 2009

he event is being done in association with Rodas Ecotel and will be flagged off from Rodas Hotel. All participating are requested to bring their own cycles and those who do not want to cycle please do join us in our walk along the route around the Hiranandani complex for only half an hour!




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