പരിവര്ത്തന സൈക്കിള് മഹാറാലി
Posted on: 29 Jul 2013
The Times of India
It was during a hartal in Kerala last year that P R Gokul, a businessman based in Thrissur, and Francis, aka Cycle Francis, a KSEB lineman, decided to go cycling. “But instead of simply enjoying a bicycle ride, we thought of using the opportunity to spread awareness about cycling to the public,” says Francis. That sparked the idea to initiate a bicycle rally through the country to spread awareness on various social issues concerning them on a daily basis.
Now, with the flagging off of All India Maha Cycle Rally this month from Thrissur, their dream is turning into a reality.
Apart from Gokul and Francis, four other cycle enthusiasts, who are also part of various NGOs and reform organisations like the Purushavakasa Samrakshana Samithi (PaSS) and Energy Conservation Society, will cycle their way through Coimbatore, Salem, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Nagpur, Agra, Delhi, Chandigarh, Manali and Leh (Ladakh), before reaching the Khardungla Pass on September 15, covering more than 4000 km. Cycle enthusiasts and social reformers from other states too will reportedly join the rally from various points.
“We want to spread awareness on men’s rights, the importance of saving energy and staying healthy through this rally,” says Gokul.
On reaching their pre-decided pit stops, the cyclists plan to get in touch with various groups working for education, health, senior citizen’s welfare, youth empowerment and good governance. “We will then address the concerns raised during these meetings to the local politicians and other government bodies and urge them to formulate measures to bring about a reform,” he says.
Dr C V Krishnakumar, an assistant professor at Medical College, Thrissur, who is also a part of the rally, is apparently the only Malayali to own a daily useable recumbent cycle. “Lifestyle diseases such as obesity, heart attacks and diabetes are the repercussions of an unhealthy lifestyle without exercise. Cycling is the fastest and easiest substitute for a gym or any other form of exercise,” says Dr Krishnakumar.
On why they feel men’s rights is a big issue even in India, which is still considered a male-dominated country, Gokul says, “A friend of mine, who had a love marriage, once found that his wife was cheating on him. Despite several warnings, she continued the relationship. Once he hit her following an argument, and she left the house, only to return with a complaint filed against him for dowry harassment. This is just one instance. There are many men in Kerala today who are being falsely convicted. So, we wanted to take up their cause.”
The cyclists are using bicycles with gears for the Maha Rally, in order to traverse miles for days without any glitch. “The gearless cycles are not meant for long rides as they are also low-maintenance. So through this rally, we also want to encourage the masses to switch to cycles with gears for their own benefit,” says Krishnakumar.
THRISSUR: Purushavakasa Samrakshana Samithi (PaSS) is conducting a Maha Rally 2013 from Thrissur to Ladakh(Jammu & Kashmir) propagating three messages around the country – Save Indian Family urging the authorities to make the existing and planned laws related to families, marriage, divorce, and laws concerning women-protection, Parental and Child rights, gender neutral.
Furthermore to ensure introduction of fool-proof measures to curtail misuse of these laws with oblique motives and to introduce fear of punishment in the minds of those who contemplate misuse of such laws, which ultimately leads to destruction of our Family system by and large which in turn destabilises the bedrock of our nation in effect, Save Energy by reducing power consumption and conserving the existing energy sources and encouraging more and more use of non conventional energy sources and methods and Stay Healthy by encouraging cycling among the public for most of their mobility needs, by providing dedicated and safe cycling paths which can be used by everyone including school going children.
Purushavakasa Samrakshana Samithi (PaSS) is the first of its kind to get registered as an NGO in Thrissur, which gives a forum for discussion for men and their family members, who fell victims to the misuse of various gender biased legal provisions as mentioned above. PaSS encourages them to fight against such legal terrorism (a term used by Supreme Court, referring to misuse of women-protection laws).
As a part of the promotion of Maha Rally, a Cycle cum vehicle rally was flagged off by Sri. K. Radhakrishnan, former Mayor and present Chairman of Thrissur Urban Development Authority at a function held at the Thrissur corporation premises on July 13th 4.30 pm. Sri. Radhakrishnan expressed an anxiety in the increasing disruption of the Indian family system due to the lack of gender-equality in the above mentioned laws and demanded equal social security of every citizen, including men, irrespective of gender.
CC Antony, President, PaSS, presided over the meeting and Sri. Joy.M.Mannoor, President Thrissur Press Club in his complimentary speech extended his wishes to the participants of the Maha Rally and wished them success in making their dream come true by achieving the noble goals of the Maha rally.
Sri.P.R.Gokul, Secretary, PaSS explained about the route of the Maha Rally and its significance to the society and Dr CV Krishnakumar Asst.Professor (Ortho), Thrissur Medical College explained the importance of cycling as the best exercise for a healthy living and about the necessity of propagating the awareness and need of cycling among the public.
George C Paul member of Energy Conservation Society explained the importance of using non-conventional energy sources in future, especially since the energy needs of mankind is exponentially increasing, while conventional and hydro-carbon based energy sources are getting depleted. He also urged the authorities to bring in policy changes to ensure that cycles are made the preferred vehicle of choice for everyone’s last mile mobility needs. This move will eventually bring down the emission of green house gases, especially Carbon di oxide and help arrest the impending catastrophes due to global warming and prevent the meltdown of Artic ice, permafrost elsewhere including our own Himalayas, as we all know the entire Uttaranchal and Garhwal regions are still reeling under the devastating after effects of such mindless destruction of nature.
The promotional two wheeler rally was lead by Gokul and Dr.Krishnakumar which started from Corporation premises and ended at Sakthan Stand moving along Thrissur Round, East Fort, Museum, Patturaikal Jn., Punkunnam Jn., West Fort, Shankarraih road, Chettiyangadi and Kokkalai junction.
Those who are interested in participating (on any vehicle, for any length, this rally will be lead by Cycles, and 4 cycles will travel the full length of the rally) in the Maha Rally 2013(starting on 28th July from Thrissur, finishing at Khardungla(Ladakh) on September 15th) and the future promotional town(Thrissur) rallies on 21st and 27th July, can contact these numbers for details and for registering as participants: 9633409355, 9605666248, 9446326794. Maha Rally Website: www.maharally.in , email email@example.com .