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Linking Young Minds Together
    Volume 5 | Issue 42| October 30, 2011 |


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Youth in Action

Riding Around Town
Naziba Basher

One Degree Initiative (1di), once again, is organising their bicycling campaign on November 20, 2011 in Dhaka and Chittagong. The campaign, Degrees On Wheels, is meant to encourage cycling amongst the people of Bangladesh in order to, not only keep fit, stay healthy and safe, but also help in the reduction of traffic jams and carbon emission caused by cars and other forms of transport.

1di, a non-profit youth organisation run by students for promoting community service and motivating a youth-led development in Bangladesh, has held many campaigns and projects and have run them successfully throughout the last couple of years, Degrees On Wheels being one of many such projects. 1di now plans to make this project a biannual campaign. Degrees On Wheels will also have a cycling training session starting from October 28, 2011 and will be held in both Dhaka and Chittagong.

The members of 1di will be split into teams to cover different areas of the two cities to spread awareness among students in schools and universities. Leaflets will be handed out to everyone and videos will be shown of cyclists from abroad as a means of inspiration and motivation for all. 1di aims to show that it is possible to travel on bicycles on the roads of Bangladesh.

As for facing parental issues, along with the training session there will be a bicycle driving test, if required, to show the parents that their children will be safe. Along with everything else, this campaign is to empower the youth of this country and make them independent. With this initiative, 1di hopes to approach the government to make bicycle lanes for cyclists. It seems that there were such lanes earlier but due to the increase in cars and other forms of transports, they had to be removed. 1di hopes to bring the lanes back.

Mushfiqur Rahman, a BBA student at the American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) and also a member of 1di says, "I have an uncle in Denmark who cycles to work everyday in a suit. Denmark is a developed country with wealth and money and cars, and yet they choose a healthier way of life. If they can, why can't we?" Rahman, being a cyclist himself says, "Cycling made me independent. I don't need to depend on drivers or rickshaw pullers. I am saving money and time and I am also looking after my health."

Many female members of 1di are also strongly involved in this project and will be visiting schools and universities during the campaign to inspire more girls to take up cycling. Amiya Atahar, an A Level graduate from Sunbeams School and a member of 1di says, "As a girl who doesn't know how to ride a bicycle and isn't even allowed to by family members, the thought of cycling to places on my own is very empowering. I cannot wait for the training to start!"

With this initiative, 1di is not only thinking about the welfare of the country but of every individual who will be taking part in this project. So what are you waiting for? Take out your bikes and join the training and be a part of Degrees On Wheels!

For more information contact Mushfiqur Rahman, on the facebook page -- http://www.facebook.com/groups/2319458809

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