There wasn’t anything unusual this Sunday, except that all roads led to the CG Road which was, for a change, transformed into a walkers’ paradise, thanks to city’s traffic police department, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and aProach, an NGO, which decided to make a part of the city not only think green, but act green too.
‘To discover paradise, take a walk’—and true to the spirit it imbibed, people took great advantage of the ‘No car day’ initiative at the CG Road, which proved to be a huge success. Amdavadis of all hues and age groups poured on to the otherwise busy thoroughfare in large numbers, relishing the fresh cool breeze on an clean and open empty street, participating to their heart’s content in the various activities arranged by the organisers.
The fun day began with a 5 km ‘cross-country’ run where participants could either skate, cycle or run down the entire stretch, which was flagged off by SS Khandwawala, commissioner of police. The star participant was of course assistant commissioner of police, (traffic), Atul Karwal himself, who couldn’t afford to give such an opportunity the miss. “The observance of such a ‘No Traffic day’ makes us aware of the impact of our individual actions on the global climate and we learn new ways to minimise or eliminate the negative impacts,” said a happy Karwal, who also announced plans of increasing the frequency of such days with one such day being observed every month, looking at the tremendous response and support by Amdavadis. Municipal commissioner, IP Gautam, and Asit Vora, chairman, standing committee were also amongst the prominent personalities who were present at the ground.
The ebullient mood and enthusiasm exuded by volunteers of NGOs upped the event tempo even further. “We gathered over 170 children from street schools who have been invited to watch, learn and enjoy from the street plays that we performed along with the stalls where tattoos were done and rakhis made by blind girls were sold. We also offered fresh lemonade to participants of sports activities,” said Hinal Tewari, an enthusiastic member of YUVA unstoppable.
Activities’ involving mimicry, caricature and dance was a huge hit with the young crowd. “I am not a professional dancer, but I hold small shows for noble causes. I wanted to be a part of this cause since it is only through such days that we can create a decent future for our coming generation,” said Jitendra Wagh, a dancer. As the day came to an end, the citizens got a taste of the climbing skills Karwal, the man who conquered Everest, possessed when he participated in a rock climbing event at the Shilpi building.
However, though the morning and the evening saw the stretch’s seams almost at its bursting point, the scorching afternoon from around 1to 5 pm drove enthusiasm levels almost to naught. Though Amdavadis sang a rain number requesting rain to pour down and add its glory to the event, the heat factor was a deterrent. “It was a very hot day today and the number of people decreased in the afternoon. But, that didn’t last too long as by evening, there was hardly space to set foot on the long stretch of road,” said Ketan Raval, manager of the event.
Live music by three different orchestra parties present at the event, dance performances, plays, and sports activities—all made July 5 a momentous day to be marked in our social calendars. “It has been a wonderful day and the public kept arriving in droves—men, women, children alike—the entire day,” gushed Prbhakar Patil, a traffic cop posted on duty at the venue.
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Jaywalkers Had A Blast On CG Road in Ahmedabad