This past Sunday the sight at Chatori Gali, Marine Drive near Samta Mulak Chowk was as impressive as it can get – long stretches of traffic-free roads brimming with walkers, runners and cyclists. People engaged in all sorts of activities and families and friends having fun together.
Had we asked you to imagine being able to play badminton in the middle of a usually busy road in Lucknow or to skate to your heart’s content without having to worry about the incoming traffic, you would say that it is impossible. And honestly, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong – given the growing traffic woes in the city and roads becoming more congested than ever.
But if you are one of those carefree souls who love to take over the roads no matter what, then here is some good news – The Times of India is back with Happy Street! For those who are still unaware, Happy Street is a unique initiative by the leading daily to persuade Lucknowites to come out on the city streets, participate in fun activities and socialize. The idea is to free up the usually jam-packed roads and have more and more people use non-motorized transport options.
Based on the famous Ciclovia Festival of Bogota in Colombia, Happy Streets is organised every Sunday to highlight the important issues that plague us such as rising pollution levels, blocked roads and disappearing spaces for people to walk or cycle. The Ciclovia Festival is a huge tourist attraction in Colombia and has been held for more than three decades now on a weekly basis.
Taking cue from it, Happy Streets promotes sustainable transport and encourages people to engage in outdoor activities. For the event, the chosen road is blocked for a few hours, barring entry to any vehicles and thereby ensuring that there is ample of free space for people to engage in activities without any worries.
Happy Streets will be held every Sunday at 06:00 AM and to kick start your day with a bang, you can head to either of these roads – Chatori Gali, Marine Drive or Samtamulak Chowk and join in the fun and frolic. There will be a host of activities for everyone such as football, tabata, street play, skating, rock band performance, cycling, ludo, power yoga, skating, zumba, aerobics, dance, badminton and the list just goes on.
If you are not up for participating in the activities but have a great idea in mind, then you can even host something of your own. And even if that doesn’t seem to work, you can stroll around or go for a walk and simply enjoy the experience.
For most of us living in the city, our lifestyle has become alarmingly sedentary. Taking out the time to exercise, engaging ourselves in physical activities or spending time with family has become a luxury of sorts. Not to mention, the rates of illnesses linked to physical inactivity are also on the rise. In such a scenario, a weekly recreation event like this seems like a much needed and marvelous idea.