TODAY -

Why I did not renew my driving license ?

Bobby Ramakant *

 public transport ,  cycle , walk
public transport , cycle , walk



Because I realized (better late than never) that it is government’s responsibility to provide safe, convenient, affordable, accessible and humane ways of commuting for all its citizens. When governments fail on its duty then it hides behind the market forces, and co-opts itself in corporate agenda, enticing citizens to own, borrow, rent and use private vehicles to commute.

Forcing people to own their own vehicle (cycle, two wheeler, car, etc) is one of the most normalized form of privatization where government like ours has almost washed away its hands from being responsible for strengthening public transport system good enough so that no one needs a private vehicle.

I refuse to fall prey to the trap of privatization of private vehicle industry that has surely manipulated our government to have policies to favour its markets. Building of big roads is seen as development but constructing useable cycle and walking paths is not, for instance.

If safe spaces to walk and cycle, or accessible and convenient public transport existed then private vehicle markets would become redundant.

Instead we are misled to believe that safe, comfortable and convenient transport is a private motorised vehicle. Is development of infrastructure only to cater to the needs of the rich who can afford a car?

If public transport was strong and there were safe spaces to walk and cycle then why will people spend their life’s earnings or take loans to buy private vehicles? Likewise when government education and health are strong, people opt for public services. But when public institutions become weak then private sector gets not only a foothold but a stronghold. Privatization has taken its toll – and worst hit are the people most in need and seldom served.

According to Census 2011 data, people who own cars are not in majority but our road infrastructure is mostly geared to make car-owners' life convenient. Car owners dominate our tarmac! If India is truly a democratic nation then our road infrastructure should make commuting convenient for everyone, especially to those who do not own any vehicle. Only 2.7% use cars, 3% use taxi or rickshaw, 3.5% use train, 11.4% use buses, 12.7% use bike/ scooter, 13.1% cycle, 22.6% walk and 30% do not travel (other modes of transport were 0.9% in 2011).

Hope we remember that oft quoted phrase that best city is the city in which even the richest use public transport, and not the one in which all own cars.

Let me share that my senior colleague Madam Shobha Shukla who heads CNS (Citizen News Service) was in Amsterdam and The Hague for a conference last year and she said that while walking she did not have to watch for cars but cycles. I have been fortunate enough to work in cities where most people use public transport such as subways, buses, trams, trains or choose to cycle/ walk.

Sustainable development warrants safe spaces to walk, cycle or use public transport that is affordable, accessible, available, convenient and comfortable for everyone.

My driving license expired on 30 July 2018. I actively drove car for almost 15 years and owned one too till August 2015. It was not a very frequent occurrence that my car had more people other than me. I can also say driving a car somewhere inflated my false ego, made me less sensitive or connected with those outside the windows of air conditioned car. It almost felt like cruising in a bubble.

It guzzled fuel enough in a week or two that was more than the price I paid for a cycle I bought for myself on 24 June 2014. Imagine one time refueling cost of car was more than cost of brand new cycle! I cycled till 1997, drove car in between, and then again began tiptoeing back to cycle since June 2014.

It took me sometime to cope and redefine the way I lived my life to get comfortable with new (and better and harmonious) way of living. Since past years I have happily cycled, walked and/or used public transport for commuting.

On individual level, we have to dissect market-based solutions that are being aggressively bombarded on us in multitude ways, to supposedly 'make our lives easy'. But often these market-based solutions are making lives miserable, not just for us, but also for others by damaging our planet. Do we want to be a puppet of the industry, or think for ourselves what's good way to live our life on the planet?

On government level, we have to vote those in power who not only strengthen public systems for universal healthcare, education, transport, nutrition and social security but also de-normalize and hold problematic industries to account for deceptive marketing tactics.

If public services are good and accessible to everyone, then private options will by default become redundant.

Roads do not belong only to car user. All of us need to reclaim our space on the road, and ensure everyone is able to commute safely and comfortably.


* Bobby Ramakant wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General's WNTD Awardee, health and development justice activist, and part of CNS and Asha Parivar team.
Follow him on Twitter @bobbyramakant, @cns_health or email: bobbyramakant(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on July 02, 2019.



* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Arts Exhibition @ MU #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Women's Film Festival 2021 at MSFDS
  • Totem of natives of North East India #2
  • As I see the world in one page :: Poem
  • AMWJU Meeting Resolutions : 05 March 2021
  • Breaking down silos to look beyond exams
  • Mova Cave @ Hunpung, Ukhrul #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • PROMYS, a summer program in mathematics
  • Meeting of AMWJU : 05 March 2021
  • Dissecting Bird flu
  • Will Bengal vote for a poroborthon ?
  • Job @ Cobigent Technologies
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #2
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Emergency Meeting of AMWJU : 04 March
  • Golden Jubilee of Manipuri Cinema
  • Impact of Climate Change in Agriculture
  • Paradigm shift in role of public sector
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • The God Lainingthou Thangching Koylellai
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • When all goes wrong
  • Are we failing children in the HIV response?
  • Counter-cyclical fiscal policy
  • Where will ST demand stand in next election?
  • Ningtham Kummei: Dance Drama #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Mar : Govt of Manipur
  • Wungreikhan, Chao Shang Un: eMing
  • Empowered teachers for local efficiency
  • First step towards regulation of social media
  • Of resignation dramas & disqualifications
  • Today's Manipur as reflected in media
  • Bongbal Kholen, Kpi District #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Totem of natives of North East India #1
  • 5 days with Bhaktisvarupa Damodara Swami
  • National Science Day 2021 at Lilong
  • Themes & objectives in National Science Day
  • More teeth to war against drugs
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipur COVID Vaccination Report : 26 Feb
  • March Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #2: Gallery
  • Best Panel Lawyer, Best DLSA in Manipur
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Key to Food Security
  • Film : Is it a medium or an art form? #1
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Buyer Seller Meet @ Hotel Imphal: Gallery
  • Job @ Makok Technologies, Keinou
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #2
  • Colour your hair, limit the damage
  • Medical camp at Lamlaba Village, Tamenglong
  • Japan Lan: Life In Kangla Sangomshang
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AMWJU Meeting : Resolutions [Feb 25]
  • Positions @ KIIT-Tech Business Incubator
  • 'Seeding Gampreneurs' transforming villages
  • Orchidarium at IBSD Shillong is reopened
  • Cracking down on 'errant' teachers
  • Chadong Village/Chadong Lake #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Folktales of Mao Maram & Poumai : Gallery
  • Guwahati Session : World Meetei Convention
  • HIV science has advanced but ...
  • I will rise :: Poem
  • Not the time to let the guards down
  • Journalism is not everybody's cup of tea
  • Foot bridges in Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • AIFF recognised Andro Girls Team : Gallery
  • Relief @ Songlung, Kangpokpi : Gallery
  • Lecture on medicinal plants at IBSD
  • Jobs @ Neopath Technologies, Imphal
  • Students on the protest path
  • Ignoring the core issues
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #18
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Implementation: Climate Change : Gallery
  • KAPU Meet: Tribute to Late Benny Khongsai
  • Career options in beauty industry
  • Meet on capacity building on energy efficiency
  • Need to establish cause of death
  • Don't break the bone
  • Shirui Lily Festival 2019 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Nakamh-Riangsuanneic - Folklore Film Fest
  • Should Meetei belong to Minority or ST #1
  • Aspergilloma of lung
  • From wetlands to dry lands
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sit-in-protest against bomb threat : Gallery
  • Young Generation and Modernization
  • The Mansion :: Poem
  • Netaji's DNA & INA Moirang
  • Demonstration demanding to cut Price Hike
  • 'Condemn hurling grenade at Governor'
  • Fulfilling the long cherish dream
  • Churachandpur Profile
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Paoyi villagers with CM : Gallery
  • Predicament of Journalists & Media Houses
  • A day of stardom for Thoiba Singh at Seoul
  • Lay off hands on the media
  • Smiles of the Emas
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Basak: A dying art form
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #2
  • Meeting of AMWJU : Resolutions [Feb 18]
  • CM & Governor urged to cut down price hike
  • Union Minister for Social Justice meet CM
  • Seram Neken joins Congress party
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Meitei-Pong Relations & Conquest of Khampat
  • Dying of Yongchak: declare National Disaster
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #2
  • Is policing pandemics different... ?
  • Home remedies for winter hair problems
  • Facets of human trafficking in Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Road from Imphal to Yangkhullen #1: Gallery
  • Understand prerequisits for ST tag
  • When all goes wrong
  • Centre Head @ JCRE School of Hospitality
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Re-Opening of Ima Keithel : Gallery
  • Emergency Meeting AMWJU: Resolutions
  • ICERME-2021: Intl Conference on SDG-7
  • Law in Motion : Basics of Law
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #2
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni - Naga Seed Sowing Festival
  • Wung-Hao of Tangkhul & Chinese Counterpart
  • World War II, INA & Manipuri Literature #1
  • 3rd Jump Rope Championship : Result
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #17
  • Book: Manipur-Myanmar connections: Gallery
  • Mushroom training at Tentha Heibung
  • Workshop on GeoGebra at IISER Bhopal
  • Indian Women & Maths annual conference
  • Walking through final lap of my life :: Poem
  • Can BJP strategy win in Tamil Nadu ?
  • Granting minority status to Meitei
  • Snowfall at Shirui, Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Shanti Thokchom's Life Experiences #44
  • Inspection at Kangla & Cheiraoching : Gallery
  • Protection of tribal land in Manipur #1
  • Oxford and Aatmanirbharta
  • Education in Mother Tongue will strengthen
  • Impressive shows from young MLAs
  • If it is for the people...
  • Ipudhou Pakhangba Puruksoubi #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati: Gallery
  • Restored Wetland : Yaralpat
  • Appeal: WG to monitor crime against women
  • Distress Relief at Yangkhullen, Senapati
  • Sensitization on constitutional obligation
  • ST demand for the Meiteis
  • Democratisation of Education
  • Licypriya in 'Forbes 30 Under 30' List 2021
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Sushila, Indubala selected for Asian Judo
  • RIST Talk 48 : Microplastic is everywhere
  • Productivity revolution of farmers in Manipur
  • NEC Secretary meeting with CM Manipur
  • Valentine's Day beauty tips
  • College teachers on strike!
  • Are you fooling people of Manipur Mr FM
  • RK Jhalajit's contribution in historiography
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Keibul Lamjao: today in deplorable state
  • Nadda's hailing 'War On Drugs' Campaign
  • Sachi Gurumayum called on CM
  • She really can be trusted for fiscal prudence
  • Child Marriage: Stigma for a civilized society
  • Fate of hostellers
  • Ema Gi Wari by Imphal Talkies : Review
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Projects Inauguration - Tamenglong: Gallery
  • Budget: Perspective on Gender Budget
  • NPF meeting with NSCN (K-Niki)
  • Mushroom training program at Nagamapal
  • Solace me, chap ! :: Poem
  • Active cases below 3 figure mark
  • Mother Nature is still unhappy
  • Discussion on Koubru Chinggoirol #1
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Packaged Organic Product launch : Gallery
  • Naga American announces Scholarship
  • Prize distribution for 9th MANIFA held
  • Range of options to prevent HIV is key
  • Paoyi village setting an example
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Churachand Maharajgi Imung published
  • Grab the given opportunities
  • A poet :: Poem
  • Supports farmers' movement call
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Financing burden of lifestyle diseases in NE
  • A budget that lays foundation for growth
  • Sports & Physical Fitness as career choice
  • Volunteers' Meet at Irong Bazar
  • Limping towards the New Normal
  • Is India prepared for Chinese aggression?
  • Re-openning of schools #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Is Compulsive Shopping a Mental Disorder ?
  • Ex-Tempore Competition at Lilong
  • My hundred deaths :: Poem
  • Fragile - Handle with care !
  • Stand off over taxi, auto fares
  • Restructuring the society without disparities
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #16
  • The ring has finally arrived!
  • Study of growing traffic congestion in Imphal
  • World Wetlands Day 2021
  • Bringing Equality for Women in Armed Forces
  • Ima Keithels: Closed since March 21
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Feb : Govt of Manipur
  • Understanding panic disorder
  • Life, It is ! :: Poem
  • A pinch of blessing with a tonne of a curse
  • COVID-19 combine to clobber MSME sector
  • Single digit spike of just 4 in last 24 hrs
  • Impact in India after coup in Myanmar
  • Remembering Kuki singer Benny Khongsai
  • Was Netaji really in Manipur ?
  • Environmental impacts of COVID-19 pandemic
  • Memo to CM concerning transportation
  • Fertilization in cultivation of broccoli
  • Need to stop meddling with nature
  • Learning to live with changing time
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Helicopter Service in Manipur
  • Pray for 2021 to be peaceful
  • Dwell in me - Oh ! human :: Poem
  • Adverse impact of rampant use of plastic
  • Studying prospects ahead of 2022
  • Re-openning of schools #1 : Gallery
  • Edu'treat 2021 in Ukhrul concluded
  • Exhibition @ Fine Arts, MU #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai @ Iboyaima Shanglen #1 : Gallery
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Food items @ Waithou Keithel #2 : Gallery
  • Narcotic Drugs disposal @Lamlai #2 : Gallery
  • Prison Diary of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba
  • Nine Hills, One Valley : Special Film award
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #3 : Gallery
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS