Alarmed by the city's famed green areas being replaced by concrete, a growing number of vehicles and an increasing carbon emission threatening the environment, a young city-based mechanical engineer along with his two friends, has begun an endeavour to maintain and improve Chandigarh's famed beauty and cleanliness.
Himanshu Narang, 24, has founded the GoGreenChandigarh campaign with his friends Sudhanshu Shekhar, 26, also a Chandigarh boy and an active leader besides being a manager at Procter & Gamble; and Anubhav Sachdeva, 28, a manager at Hotel Cabbana, Jalandhar, his hometown.
The trio is now gearing for an activity scheduled to be a part of their campaign - cycling 300 km from Chandigarh to Shimla on April 7 in order to drive home the go-green message.
Says Himanshu, "Our aim is to tell the youth of Chandigarh to use bicycles as much as possible. If we can cycle up to Shimla, why can't one use a cycle to at least travel up to the local market?"
The engineer-cum-social activist also shares that the GoGreen cycling idea does not necessarily promote quitting the use of cars, but to promote the use of the humble cycle.
Himanshu doles out practical advice, "I'm not saying you should start cycling in the entire city, but cycling five or six kilometers a day is not hard."
With GoGreenChandigarh campaign being registered with the central government in March 2011, they started the task of spreading the ' go-green' message across the tricity.
Himanshu recalls being moved by the changing plight of city beautiful. "Chandigarh is supposed to be a planned city. But people are ignorant about the eventual chaos that will be led by an increasing number of cars. We also observed the many public parks being converted into concrete parking lots as people were owning more cars by the day.
So we initiated our venture by distributing pamphlets to educate people and planting 120 plant saplings across the tricity." The GoGreenChandigarh campaign has three active members and 60 volunteers, and is managed by funds received via sponsorships and volunteer donations.
As Himanshu plans to leave the country later this year to pursue an MBA at the Sauder School of Business, Canada, he is set to hand over the charge of their initiative to someone who can handle the lead taken by him. "If we can spare time for mother earth and environment, then I am sure everyone else can too. We can start by making cycling a common practice."
His inspiration, he says, is change. "After reading about us, if even one person picks up a cycle tomorrow, then our job is done. I truly believe that bit by bit, a large difference can be made."
Youngsters who can spare some time to join the league can contact them at facebook.com/gogreenchandigarh