Ride or Walk-Over 2000 Students & Citizens join in Cyclo-Walkathon for ‘Pollution Free Mluru’
Mangaluru: Being a lazy Sunday, when many of the Citizens of Mangaluru were still in bed, some cuddling with their pillows or their partners- however over two thousand students of St Aloysius College (Autonomous) plus a few hundred citizens of Mangaluru, woke up early and were all assembled in the St Aloysius College campus all geared up to take part in the Cyclo-Walkathon to bring awareness for a “Pollution Free Mangaluru” on Sunday, 9 December 2018 at 6.30 am. The event was organized in association with Mangalore Bicycle Club, Sahyadri Sanchaya, D.K. Bus Operators Association and Mangalore Forest Range. The Cyclo-Walkathon which commenced from St Aloysius College campus proceeded through Bunts Hostel road -PVS Circle-Ballalbagh- Mannagudda- Ladyhill -Urwa Store (U-Turn) – Ladyhill- Lalbagh- PVS Circle-Karangalpady, and culminated back at St Aloysius College Centenary Ground.
It was an early Sunday morning fun day, for a few riding their bicycles, while thousands of others walked to bring awareness on pollution created by smoky vehicles and other means. Fr Praveen Martis SJ- Principal of St Aloysius College while welcoming the gathering was overwhelmed and thrilled to see the large participants that turned out for the event, and he said “This shows everyone cares for a good environment free of pollution, and that is the reason you all are here to bring awareness on pollution, which is ruining peoples’ lives, and even killing them. Let us bring a change in society through our efforts”.
Speaking on the occasion, Rev Fr Dionysius Vas SJ- Rector of St Aloysius Institutions said, “St Aloysius Institutions have been striving hard in keep our campus green and clean, and therefore we have many gardens and parks around so that we a breathe clean air filled with clean oxygen released from these plants and trees. Today’s event will surely ring an awareness among the public about the pollution so that they change their lifestyle and habits. Pollution is high in Mangaluru, and it is time we all join and see that it is controlled so that lives are saved. Let us make a difference, and yes we can, if we try and put in our efforts”.
The Chief Guest of the event, Prof. Rohan Fernandes, Associate Professor of English, Srinivas University College of Engineering and Technology, Mangaluru addressing the gathering said, “Mangaluru is not what it used to be decades ago. I remember while a student here at St Aloysius College, there was only one apartment then, which is Loo Prabhu Apartments, located close to this college. Even vehicles have increased, creating lots of pollution. Mangaluru has also attracted lots of outsiders into this City, due to many educational institutions and industries. Density has surely increased here in Mangaluru at present. It’s nice to see that this college has introduced greenery around for a cleaner and greener atmosphere. Saving Mother Nature is essential. My compliments to Mangalore Bicycle Club members for supporting this initiative. My message to everyone is that let us keep our City Clean and Green and Free from pollution also”.
Other dignitaries joined along with the Chief Guest in flagging off the Cyclo-Walkathon” were- Range Forest Officer Sridhar (who had donated the caps), Joe Gonsalves-Chief Traffic Warden, Ms Mary Pereira- Traffic Warden, Dr Narahari- Registrar of the College, Fr Leo D’souza SJ – Former Rector, Environmentalist Madhav Ullal, Fr Melwyn Lobo SJ -Finance Officer of the college, among others. The route of the event was well guided by volunteers, NCC cadets of SAC, and of course, Mangaluru Traffic Police. An ambulance was provided by A J Hospital, Mangaluru. The vote of thanks was delivered by Ms Claret Pereira- the convener of the event. After a bunch of selfies and group photos, it was time for a sumptuous breakfast.
This is indeed a good initiative taken by St Aloysius College-it is the right time to instill the responsibility of environment conservation within us before it is too late. Smoking vehicles like buses and auto rickshaws are the main reasons behind air pollution. Emission test centres must be more prudent with their approach towards such vehicles and restrict issuing emission test certificates to polluting vehicles if they do not pass the test. It is noted that a person would need a minimum of Rs.7.5 crores worth of oxygen in their entire lifetime. A single tree can cater to the oxygen needs of hundreds of people. We as responsible citizens of this city must grow trees and reduce non-bio-degradable wastes as much as possible.
This event on making Mangaluru pollution free is doing every bit possible for us to have a safer environment with ambient air to breathe in. We should all take responsibility for our actions and join hands to form a better future for all of us. The health hazards Mangaloreans are experiencing is due to air pollution and therefore they should take up healthy conveyance habits and reduce dependency on personalized vehicles for travel. We need to plant trees to bring down the pollution level in Mangaluru.
This Cyclo-Walkathon was aimed To highlight the importance of maintaining vehicles in good and non-polluting conditions; To stop unmaintained and smoke emitting vehicles from plying on the road polluting the environment and damaging human health, and Provide a platform to showcase that the citizens of Mangaluru do care about its people and the environment. Planting trees will also help in controlling pollution, and produce good air and oxygen.