Did you know that on a bicycle you can travel up to 1,000 Kms on the energy equivalent of a single litre of petrol…? I am sure you must be aware of such facts just like my friend Jugal Rathi.
A chartered accountant by profession who came to Pune from Latur many years ago, Rathi has always been concerned about the environment and has been taking initiatives to make it better. He started cycling almost 12 years ago as a hobby but then it became his cause.
Ageless Rathi is seen shouting slogans-‘Pollution Pollution…cycle is the solution’ through monthly bicycle rallies organised by a group of peddlers on Sundays when all of us are lazing around in our homes.This 67 year old peddler bicycles wherever he goes. He has been taking initiatives through ‘Pune Cycle Pratishthan’ to spread the joy and awareness of bicycling in our traffic troubled
Rathi on a mountain biking expedition
Whenever you meet Rathi, all you hear is about his new cycle expeditions and how environment friendly way of commuting is promoted. According to Rathi, each one of us has the seed, the spark within that makes us conscious about environment. It’s just a matter of being firm on our beliefs and bringing them into action. “I am sure the change will happen and people will love peddling to their work, schools and picnic spots,” he says.
As part of the action, he has been pursuing PMC schemes like ‘rent a bike’ and giving cycles to about 50,000 needy student friends. Also, has been shaking the administration through his letters to consider those walking and cycling on the road have equal rights as motorists.
His efforts have such earnestness that his birthday celebrations begin with cycle riding. “I take as many rounds as that of my age on every birthday,” says Rathi with a smile. While leaving on his bicycle on a routine ride he doesn’t forget to remind us that cycling is a potential activity that makes our environment healthier.
"Rathi believes that each one of us has the seed, the spark within that makes us conscious about environment."
-As told by Greeny to Praveen Lulekar