06 June 2013

Greenpeace bike-a-thon at Dilli Haat in Delhi © Greenpeace/Sudhanshu Malhotra

On World Environment Day, Greenpeace organised one of a kind event - Bike-a-thon.

It was hot and humid. By 6 pm, most of the volunteers and organisers were sweating and exhausted. But as the event time got closer, there was a sense of excitement in the air.

When the clock hit 7:30 pm - Delhi drummers dropped the beat, the cyclists prepared to ride, and the countdown began. 5 4 3 2 1 And people pedalled like they had never ridden before! Within seconds, the Switch On The Sun Logo lit up.

The crowd cheered, clapped and pedalled some more. It was almost like the adrenaline in us was fuelling the dynamos connected to the logo! There was surprise, delight, fun, laughter and most of all - a vibrant jolting energy that ran through all of us.

The event got people from all age groups. Senior citizens humbled the crowd, when they pedalled for over 10 mins and lit up the logo! Kids as young as six year old got on big bikes and pedalled! Our participating groups - PedalYatris, NSS, Senior Citizens Council of Delhi and Delhi Cyclists pumped in the energy needed to generate electricity

06 June 2013

© Greenpeace/Sudhanshu Malhotra

The people witnessed what their collective power can actually do. Bike-a-thon is not just symbolic. It was real, practical and happening in front of our eyes. With the right will and effort, we produced power that lit up a part of Dilli Haat. It was an accomplishment because through the lighting up of Switch-On The Sun, Delhiites wanted to prove that they can take the control of power in their own hands. That they do not have to rely on energy sources that are dirty, exhaustive and destructive to the nature and us.

As someone who cycled at Bike-a-thon, I got goosebumps when I saw the expressions of the cyclists. The show never had a dull moment. From the Rajasthani folk dancers, to the mind blowing performance of the beat boxing group Agnostic - from the melodies of Manzil Mystics to the foot tapping beats of Delhi Drummers. It was a power packed show, from the beginning to the end.

06 June 2013

On World Environment Day © Greenpeace/Sudhanshu Malhotra

World Environment Day got us together for one single strong cause that needs to be celebrated every single day, with each one of us.

To pedal power!


Ruhie Kumar is a Digital Media Campaigner with Greenpeace India.