Mumbaikars embrace car-free movement
Over the last four month, the Equal Streets initiative has become a fullfledged movement embraced by multitudes. And it has come to mean different things to different people. Some see it as a reason to rise early and exercise, while others come here for inspiration and still others view it as an opportunity to be kids again. “Going back to our childhood days, we used to play on the streets. We were able
The initiative has given people a chance to revisit their childhood when they would play on streets to relive that again,” said 31year-old Dipan Maru.
Agroup of adults played lagori further down Linking Road, near where Swapna Wagh had set up her stall for Desi Toys. There she was surrounded by kids and adults alike, being introduced to historic Indian games like Wagh-Bakri, Pachisi and Buddhi Jal. Many adults were also spotted taking selfies with the street art, using a host of gizmos from selfie sticks to go-pros, to participate in this Sunday’s ‘Streetfie’ contest. The pictures, once posted on social media with the appropriate hashtag (#streetfie), stand a chance to be featured in next week’s edition of The Times of India.
As part of the movement, brought to Mumbai by NGOs, think tanks, citizens associations and cycling groups, a 6.5km loop from Bandra to Santacruz is closed to vehicles from 7am to 11am every Sunday. The Mumbai Police, BMC and the NGO EMBARQ are partners and the initiative—that will go on till May 31—is supported by the Times of India.
Members from the Indian Stammering Association performed a flash mob to educate audience on this rare condition. “Only 1% of the population stammers, and the ratio of girl to boy who stammer is 1:4,” said Shilpa Shagwal (34), a chemical engineering student. Also trying to reach people was pre-primary school teacher Yasmin Shroff, who sought to enlighten people on their limitless possibilities. “Our organization is about possibilities, and the possibilities within each person,” she said, armed with simple tasks and booklets to demon- strate her point. Placing a tiny seed in a palm, she added, “Just like the seeds of the banyan tree look like tiny specks of dust, they grow into something immense, so can you.” And so, it’s apparent, has this initiative.
There were also other serious issues being promoted. Members of the Art of Living community were raising awareness about the possible felling of trees at Aarey Colony. They will host a meditation session at Aarey next Saturday, to celebrate the spirit of Aarey on World Forest Day.
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