Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22, a day where we remind ourselves that we have precious resources to protect; the ground, sky, water and everything above, between and below are reasons why we have been able to come so far in such a short period. This is a day where we remember what we are standing on – The Earth.
Earth Day was celebrated in Bangalore on April 21 2012 with much pomp, song and believe it or not pushing two-wheelers backwards by 200 college students from B.N.M Institute of Technology on a hot Saturday afternoon. Centre for Social Markets and BNM decided that its high time the present gen is reminded about issues of carbon belching, fuel drinking, noisy two-wheelers or just about anything that comes with an engine and how sustainable transport can replace the motor world.
So why two-wheelers? And why pushed backwards which takes a lot of effort? So Bangalore stands no. 1 (and not proudly) of holding the most number of two-wheelers in Bangalore – 26 lakhs. This pretty much outstrips all the rest (stats here) accounting for the increase in carbon emissions, pollution rise and high temperatures which the city has been witnessed in the last few years. Also Bangalore stands no. 3 (very proud here) of holding a young population who rather opt for bikes and scooty peps than cycles. With the number of two-wheelers + 20 somethings in the city this campaign was perfect to encourage our ‘push backwards for an earth cause’ campaign.
Pushing backwards was an effort to create an awareness of emissions levels caused by two-wheelers ridden by youngsters. We were telling the public become sustainable in your transport pick a cycle, walk or use public transportation, learn to curb those emissions. Learn to protect your environment for your own sake.
We pushed for 2
kilometers in Banashakari area from the college to the main road, passed the post office, reached the BDA Complex and back to the college. Going downhill at one point threatened all the bikes
plummeting into one another, but with 5 people to one engine the students controlled the entire operation beautifully. With the drum beating to various tunes, some youngsters started dancing tapori style – almost like a festival procession. And it was! A festival celebrating the earth, celebrating our home, the air, water and ground which we depend upon.
An operation which involved top environmental organisations – Sanctuary Asia, Earth Day Network and Greenpeace who were our supporters and stood like pillars throughout the rally. Our media partner Namma Bengaluru Foundation gave us the media action in Bangalore.
The day ended with Greenpeace creating a human chain of a bicycle and a pledge taken by the 200 students promising to save 100,000 km of carbon emissions till the next Earth Day April 22, 2012.
What a perfect Earth Day celebration in Bangalore, and a milestone for me as an enthusiastic person wishing to make a difference. I will be doing much more.
Media coverage and support: