Society

Girl power on the go

A girl rider during one of Indus Cycling Embassy’s group rides   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Thanks to the efforts of a bunch of cycling enthusiasts, it’s wheels up for several young women in the city. As a new chapter for women empowerment in Thiruvananthapuram and to promote cycling among school students, Indus Cycling Embassy (ICE), a city-based cycling club, is launching ‘Donate a Cycle’ campaign to gift cycles to girl students of city, who are from economically disadvantaged families.

“The plan is to gift one bicycle every month to a selected student from one of the government schools in the city. If we can get all our members, numbering 120, to donate at least Rs 50 every month, it would be more than enough to buy one cycle every month, ” says Prakash Gopinath, founder of ICE. The idea itself was suggested by one of their members, Anand A.J.

“The idea has been lingering in my mind for a long while now. In some states, Tamil Nadu, for instance, there are government programmes that gift bicycles to girls. In Kerala there appears to be no such initiative. So, when I suggested this to team ICE, they were quite taken with it and decided to launch a campaign immediately. Very few girls in the city ride bicycles. Many students live within a two to three km radius of their schools. If we can get at least some of them to start use bicycles, then it would be great, for their health and for the environment too,” says Anand.

Indus Cycling Embassy members, during a monthly ride

Indus Cycling Embassy members, during a monthly ride   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

He believes that this is just the beginning and hopefully other organisations from the city and from other places in Kerala will come up with similar initiatives.

Although ICE aims at promoting cycling, they also wish to empower the women in the city. “We already run a programme, which helps women in the city to learn how to ride a bicycle. Already, we have given training to more than 60 women. Ultimately our intention is to replace the long line of school buses that throng the roads with long trains of bicycles,” adds Prakash.

ICE plans to gift the first cycle and kick-start the ‘Donate a cycle’ campaign at the end of this month.

To take part in the campaign, contact 8089494442 or email induscyclingembassy@gmail.com.


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Printable version | Dec 4, 2021 8:13:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/Girl-power-on-the-go/article17054765.ece

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