‘Pedal for Peace’: Kashmir witnesses cycle race after months of lockdown, hundreds participate
Such a race, organised by Jammu and Kashmir Police, was the first in more than a year following months of restrictions after the revocation of Article 370 in August 2019 and then Covid-19 induced lockdown.Updated: Oct 11, 2020, 21:04 IST
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha appeared all enthused when he witnessed hundreds of children and youth participate in a cycle race, ‘Pedal for Peace’, on the banks of Dal Lake in Kashmir on Sunday.
Such a race, organised by Jammu and Kashmir Police, was the first in more than a year following months of restrictions after the revocation of Article 370 in August 2019 and then Covid-19 induced lockdown from March this year, in the valley.
“‘Pedal for Peace’ is not only a cycle race, through this, we are attempting to lay the foundation of peace, brotherhood and happiness and also an attempt to spread the message of love among people,” said Sinha, who was the chief guest at the event and distributed prizes among winners at Police Golf Course, Srinagar.
He felt that the event also gave a message. “When 400-500 people cycle together, the outcome is not just a race or a competition but it relays a sense of unity. The race generates a sort of energy and love which affects all the sectors and people,” he said.Also read: Half of India’s Covid-19 recoveries come from 5 worst-hit states - Govt
The events included races for sub-junior boys/girls, junior boys/girls, senior men/women and veteran men.
“I am committed to providing each and every citizen of Jammu and Kashmir with the best facilities. The overall welfare of police and civil personnel is also our priority. Necessary steps are underway for the welfare of their family members also,” he said.
The enthusiasm of the participants also echoed what the L-G was saying.
“I am extremely happy as I stood first. Not only that it was fun because we have been sitting at homes under lockdown for months now,” said Rubab, one of the participants in the junior category.
“Even if anybody is able to do any activity these days, it is done in isolation. Today, we enjoyed ourselves as we met people, even though we followed all the SOPs… More of such events should be held,” she said.
J&K Director-General of Police (DGP) Dilbag Singh was also happy over the participation of youth in various sporting activities in the past 10 days and called them ‘change-makers’ and the police as a ‘catalyst’.
“Unfortunately we had Covid-19 situation going around and there was some break in physical activities. Some relaxation has now taken place and now we have resumed sporting activities. These kinds of activities take youth towards positivity,” he said.
He hoped that the youth of Kashmir will utilise their energies in a positive direction. “We are sure that the youth will happily participate in such activities and no one wants violence. Our youth especially would shun violence and be on the path of peace,” he said
When specifically asked about militancy in south Kashmir, he said that “action and silences” go together there.
“We would rather want to have longer spells of silence than exchange of fire but unfortunately we have a good number of active terrorists in that area,” he said.
“So whenever they come with weapons or fire at the forces or when we get information, we try to see if they would surrender. But when there is no surrender, there is an exchange of fire...,” he said.