The day is celebrated to raise awareness about the multiple societal benefits of using the bicycle for transport and leisure. The day, which is celebrated for the first time this year, was approved on 12 April 2018 as an official United Nations day.
Vice President Naidu said that cycling is the best and cheapest form of exercise to keep ourselves healthy and people must be encouraged to adopt such environment-friendly mode of transport.
He was addressing a gathering of cyclists and environmentalists after inaugurating the Bicycle Rally and NDMC’s Smart Cycle Station for Public Bike Sharing on the occasion. He said that the campaign to promote the use of bicycle must be taken up on a sustained basis and it should not be confined to a ritualistic exercise on the World Bicycle Day.
Naidu said that one should not see World Bicycle Day as a mere symbolic exercise and said that it addresses two most pressing problems like growing environmental pollution and rising lifestyle diseases.
Talking about the rising pollution levels, Naidu said that many cities the world over have virtually turned into chimneys due to pollution and the gases emitted from vehicles. He said that the time has come for cities and other urban places to promote bicycling in a big way.
Dedicated bicycling tracks to be created in our cities and people have to be encouraged to pedal their way to better health, he added.
“Bicycling will greatly help in reducing adverse health outcomes. Apart from burning calories, strengthening muscles and promoting fitness, bicycling daily will reduce the risk for heart diseases and cancers,” he added.
The Vice President also unveiled the plaque for Smart Cycle Station. He complemented the authorities of NDMC for starting Smart Cycle Station for Public Bike Sharing in New Delhi and said that similar initiatives are needed elsewhere in the country and the youth in particular must take full advantage of such facilities.
Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan, who was also present on the occasion, said that people should make it a habit to use cycling for their transport not only for protection of environment but also for several health benefits. He also said that India is the global host of 2018 World Environment Day, which will take place on June 5, 2018.