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HindustanTimes Sat,25 Oct 2014

Bicyle book delivery!

Namya Sinha, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 25, 2013
First Published: 17:42 IST(25/5/2013) | Last Updated: 11:48 IST(26/5/2013)

Remember those times when your friendly neighbourhood postman would cycle all the way to your house to deliver your letters? While those good ol’ days won’t return, here’s an attempt to revive the tradition, albeit with a twist. 45-year-old Sudhanva Deshpande will set out every Sunday morning to deliver books across Delhi on a bicycle.

“It’s one of our mad ideas that we eventually plan to expand. I have been commuting to work on a cycle for the past few days and was thinking how we can reach out to more people directly and get the message of eco-friendly commuting across. While employing the service of courier guys can be expensive, we decided to carry it out informally. I started informing people to tell me about the books they want, and I will deliver it to them,” says Deshpande, who works at May Day Bookstore & Cafe. He is the key fellow around, and also happens to be the delivery boy.
 
Deshpande will kick off his books-on-a-bike campaign today, and will do the next round on June 2. “Since I cycle everyday and even on weekends, this would give me a purpose. I will be making the first delivery at 7am and hope to finish delivering the entire lot by 10am since it’s very hot. If some deliveries are left over, they’ll be done next weekend and if the load ordered is a lot, then we’ll do it throughout the week,” he says.

Next, Deshpande wants to involve rickshaw-pullers, who he feels are otherwise underpaid, to do the job. Abroad, the concept of bicycle messengers is not new. Employed by messenger companies, they deliver goods on a cycle. The Paris stock exchange had bicycle messengers employed in the 1870s. In 1902, the US had postal stamps with a cycle messenger on it. In fact, cycle messenger championships are held at national levels in the US.

catch him here if you’re a book enthusiast and want your books delivered on a bicycle, check out the books that are available at www.leftword.com. List down your choices and mail your order at cafemayday@gmail.com, with your address and phone number.


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