Saturday, December 05, 2015 For the first time in the city, a one of a kind, Walk to School (W2S) program was conducted successfully today in the neighborhood of Sanjaynagar.
Team CiFoSexecuted this event in partnership with ESAF Bangalore and was supported by B.PAC(Bangalore Political Action Committee), Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT), Bangalore Traffic Police (BTP) & BCOS
1500 school children participated in the program today by walking to their respective schools from their homes. Those living further away and coming by bus or vehicles were dropped off at common points few kilometres away and along with others, they walked to school as groups.
What the neighbourhood of Sanjay Nagar witnessed today was a fitting beginning tothe long drawn process of changing mind sets and behaviours of residents to choose sustainable and environment friendly alternatives for commuting.
Today’s initiative was devised to encourage and incentivize school children in the vicinity to be the torch bearers of our future by spreading awareness in their homes, schools and also their communities.
Through this initiative, we have been able to reach more than 3000 parents, 1500 students and more than 100 teachers. These children will hopefully set an example for others to emulate. This initiative was not only able to spread awareness to the most vulnerable section of the society but also through them, it attempted to influence and set an example for others.
The benefits of such an initiative are multi fold. Apart from reducing pollution & traffic congestion and the health benefits that are derived from walking, this also ensures that children develop a sense of belongingness to their neighborhoods and are moulded into young individuals with strong civic sense who contribute to the society. Members of Rotaract Club, RMV extension also volunteered during the event
“I walked from RT Nagar to Sanjaynagar. I felt very good, walking is such fun. Walking with my parents was really very good. I would like to walk every week to school” said 11 year old Balaji from Shiksha Sagar High school
The following schools participated in the program
- Akai Public School
- Daffodils English School
- Pavithra VIdyanikethana
- Sandeepani Niketan
- Shikshasagar High school
- Shikshasagar School
- SYA High School
“I was very happy my daughter got up early by herself and wanted to walk to school. Saved me a lot of headache of screaming and getting them ready to go to school.” SaidMrs Roopa Naik, Mother of Disha, 6th Standard, Shiksha Sagar high school.
Revathy Ashok, CEO B.PAC said, ‘We are extremely proud that Subbiah and Geetha G, students of our Civic leadership training program (B.CLIP) have taken up this initiative in their ward This is an excellent initiative and by involving students we are ensuring that the future of the ward is in safe hands. Kudos to the entire team at Cifos for devising this activity’’
As part of ‘Walk to school’ Initiative, various competitions and contests will also be conducted in these schools. This is to ensure that the message of choosing eco-friendly options in everyday lives are reinforced and they become a habit for these young citizens who are the future of our city.
The students then participated in an inter school competition where they were required to draw the route map from their house to their school, also mark everything they saw during their walk in the morning. The response to this was overwhelming and was the drawings were a flying testimony to the cause.
Subbiah T.S one of the six organisers for the event said, ‘We are very happy with the level of participation today. This is just the beginning. This is going to be a monthly feature in the ward going forward and we plan to approach the concerned authorities to provide adequate pedestrian infrastructure in the neighbourhood. We will show them the ward pathways prepared by the students themselves to highlight what is missing in the ward’
The organisers also plan to create awareness on garbage segregation and other civic responsibilities in the ward through these children in the coming months