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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Jul 2014

Commit to stay off the roads
Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, January 06, 2011
First Published: 14:20 IST(6/1/2011)
Last Updated: 15:36 IST(6/1/2011)

Come January 30, and you will have the opportunity to do your bit for the environment and help save some fuel too. CauseBecause, an organisation that helps create awareness about social issues in India and offers a platform for companies and NGOs to collaborate, will be organising a No Driving Day on January 30. The organisation is hoping to observe the day in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Bengaluru. However, people in other cities too can be a part of the campaign by logging on their website, www.causebecause.com.

“The whole idea of this day is to get an individual to understand that he has the option of an alternative form of transport. Once he opts for public transport, he experiences something new,” says Ranjan Kaplish, 28, founder-worker-writer, CauseBecause, who thought of the idea along with Padma Pegu. The other objective is to help improve the present public transport infrastructure. Kaplish says, “When 100 people stand up and say we need better public transport, policy makers have to listen, and only then things will improve.” The organisation has already approached the environment as well as transport ministry for their support and is awaiting a reply.

To be a part of the campaign, log on to the website and go to their No Driving Day section. Here, click on the ‘I Commit’ button. You can also put down your vehicle number to announce that your car will stay off the road on that day. People can also head to the Let’s Talk section and have discussions with fellow campaigners who are participating. Causebecause will also send those registered a newsletter that will list alternative things to do on the day along with a list of cycling clubs in the city as well as information about green stores and products. Kaplish says, “The idea is to ensure that this day becomes symbolic and turns into a habit.”

Causebecause has also approached corporates asking for their support and several have asked their employees to avoid using cars on that day. Tarun Shah, student, 21, says, “There have been similar campaigns in the past and people need to participate if such an event is to become a success.” Causebecause is also on the lookout for more cycle clubs to associate with, in order to ensure that people have an alternate means of transportation on that day.

Did you know?
The International Energy Agency says India’s fuel demand has grown by 65,000 barrels per day in 2010, to about 3.33 million bpd. In 2011, fuel demand will grow by 107,000 bpd, to 3.43 million bpd.
Restraining from burning 5-10 litres in a day, even by 10,000 people, will mean saving about 1,00,000 litres.
South Korea’s No Driving Day sees two million cars stay off the road and decreases traffic volume by 3.7 per cent.
Beijing People’s Government in February 2009 implemented traffic control measures on regularly rotating No Driving Day on a weekly basis, scheduling it by the vehicle numbers.

To be a part of the campaign log on to www.causebecause.com and head to their No Driving Day section. Hit ‘I commit’ button.


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