TODAY -

Bike in Manipur and in the Netherlands : What is the difference?

Asheibam Bele Singh *

Fifth Critical Mass of cycle enthusiast cycling  at Imphal :: 28 August 2011
Fifth Critical Mass of cycle enthusiast cycling at Imphal in August 2011 :: Pix - Niranjan Thongbam



Back in my school days (2001-2003), I was cycling every early morning from Palace Compound to Kendriya Vidyalaya Langjing for about hour and half. And come back at home in the late evening. So did I do in IARI Campus New Delhi (2009 2012).

It was not my wish to bicycle everyday but compelled to do because I could not afford motorbike at those times. I did many try to buy one motorbike but ended with only dream.

I never realized that one day I will be fascinated by bicycle until I come to The Netherlands. Now, I am big fan of bike (bicycle is call bike in The Netherlands). I enjoy biking here like every Dutch people do. Kids, children, students, teachers, doctors, ministers, or whoever you can name it use bicycle.

Regardless of how old we are, who we are, everyone use bicycle for transport of short distance to long distance. No one is using motorbike or car within the range of 10 kilometers if he or she is physically fit.

In fact, I hardly see any kinds of motorbikes in The Netherlands, except few Superbikes, Harley Davidson, etc. The Netherlands, bicycle capital of the world, is ranked first for maximum bicycle use and cyclist in the world with 99%. In Europe; Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris are among the top list.

Also in North America; Boulder, Chicago, Davis, Ottawa, Portland, San Francisco were listed in using bicycles. Likewise, elsewhere; Bagota, Cape Town, Perth, Beijing, Tokyo can be named on same purpose.

Once, the mentioned countries or cities were also same like us. No awareness of bicycle. No care about future. But then why they revolutionized in bicycle? FED UP! Of what? Traffic jams, fuel price increases, space degradation, pollution concerns, and so on.

People become curious about health issues, eco-friendly transport, economy, etc. drives the higher use of this lovely bicycle. You can read more about bicycles from http://www.copenhagenize.com/ and http://www.amsterdamize.com/. Or you can watch in Youtube and Ted talks channels.

Present Trends in Manipur, My Opinion.

Everyone is using faster means of transportation (than bicycle) but no one reach in time. Student are not willing to go school if she or doesn't have motorcycle. Government servants spent more time at oil pumps than offices during scare days of fuels in the city. All these becoming fashion in our society.

Even the poorest family can afford to buy one motorcycle regardless of economic status in Manipur. The question is why people are so tempted on luxury motorbikes or cars. My list goes on but you know better on such topics.

Of course, I know promoting bicycle in Manipur is not easy. It needs smooth road, and safe from accident, etc. These measures can be taken up by Government. From our side, willingness to bicycle, care for future environment & resources, heath curiosity, etc. can bring a bicycle revolution in our disorder society.

To be honest, we should not feel ashamed on using bicycle. At the end, no one can force us or direct us. It is you and I have to take our own decision.

You and I together can make a difference and show to the entire world. Let's do it or shall we wait for FED UP like European did one time.


* Asheibam Bele Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on September 25, 2014.


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