Parisar Empowers Young Girls in Patil Estate Vasti with Cycle Distribution Event on World Bicycle Day

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Pune, 3rd June 2023 – In a successful endeavor, Parisar organized a cycle distribution event on 3rd June 2023, coinciding with World Bicycle Day. The event took place from 5:45 pm to 7:15 pm at the Kohinoor Krida Mandal ground in PMC colony, Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar, Wakdewadi, Old Mumbai-Pune Road, Pune. It was part of Parisar’s project, “Making Pune Cycle Friendly,” aimed at promoting cycling in the city.

Parisar collaborated with the Manoday Deaddiction Centre, which closely works with the girls of Patil Estate Vasti. Together, they engaged with 18 girls and women from the vasti, aged between 12 and 18. The participants received cycling lessons from trainers Neeraja Kandala and Sumit Patil, representing the city-based company Curious Wheels. The training was conducted on the same ground where the event took place.

The objective of this program was to highlight the transformative impact of bicycles on the lives of these young girls, fostering independence and providing them with opportunities for a brighter future. Parisar made an appeal to the public for cycle donations to support these girls. They received 18 cycles from generous individuals, which were repaired and distributed to the participants.

Shweta Vernekar, the Project Manager at Parisar, expressed gratitude to the people of Pune, stating, “The success of the program is largely due to the generosity of Punekars. While it would have been possible to buy new cycles, there is merit in reusing these cycles and making it a community project.”

Aditi Mutatkar, a former National Badminton player and head of the “Women in Sports” program at the Simply Sports Foundation, graced the event as a special guest. She emphasized the importance of access to safe public transport, including bicycles, for women’s participation in sports. Mutatkar expressed her hope that replicating similar initiatives across the city and the country would positively impact women’s participation in various areas, with sports being a significant one.

The project received support from Praj Industries and aimed to generate awareness about the Pune Bicycle Plan, which was adopted by the PMC in 2017. Its objective is to increase the number of cycling trips in the ward and change public perceptions about cycling. The plan advocates for the construction of 824 km of cycle tracks, with only 95 km currently existing.

Ranjit Gadgil, Programme Director at Parisar, addressed the reluctance in constructing more cycle tracks, stating, “There is a demand from many, such as these young women, that not only would they like to cycle but would also like to have safe cycling tracks.”


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