SCHOOL CHALEIN HUM!
For the first time in the city, a one of a kind, Walk to School (W2S) program was conducted successfully by B.CLIP participants Subbiah and Geetha on Saturday in Sanjaynagar. This was supported by B.PAC and DULT ( Directorate of Urban Land Transport (DULT).
Subbiah and Geetha, as part of Team CiFoS ( Citizens for Sustainability) executed this event in partnership with ESAF Bangalore. Bangalore Traffic Police (BTP) & BCOS also supported this initiative.
1500 school children participated in the program 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 beginning to a process of changing mind sets and behaviors of residents to choose sustainable and environment friendly alternatives for commuting.
The initiative was devised to encourage and incentivize school children in the vicinity to be torch bearers of the 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 belonging 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
The following schools participated in the program. The enthusiasm was infectious :
Akai Public School
Daffodils English School
Shikshasagar High school
SYA High School
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.
The organisers are working towards making this a a monthly feature in the future. They are also planning to approach the concerned authorities to provide adequate pedestrian infrastructure in the neighbourhood.
The organisers also plan to create awareness on garbage segregation and other civic responsibilities in the ward through these children in the coming months
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. It is also very encouraging to note that other schools in the ward have expressed interest to join this movement.