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Raahgiri Day

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DDC Delhi partnered with Raahgiri Foundation and WRI India to organise four ‘Raahgiri Day’ events across Delhi over the winter months of 2021-22 on the theme of ‘Yuddh Pradushan Ke Viruddh’.

These events were organised by DDC Delhi to support the ‘Yuddh Pradushan Ke Viruddh’ citizen-engagement campaign launched by Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi Sh. Arvind Kejriwal to engage and encourage citizens to take responsibility for reducing air pollution. The campaign is aimed at ensuring individuals and communities adopt actions like switching off one’s engine at red traffic lights, reducing usage of one’s private vehicles, reporting pollution-causing activities on the ‘Green Delhi’ mobile app, among others.

Neighbourhood Raahgiri is a car-free citizen initiative that advocates for safe, accessible and inclusive public streets. The central idea of ‘Raahgiri Day’ events is to allow people to experience a street without cars which can help them reimagine what our streets can be and inculcate important behavioural changes in how we see our streets and our environment. When people can truly get a feel for what it is like to reclaim and enjoy public spaces, they demand it more. Raahgiri Day inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent the street as a public space and as the heart of every community. This awareness and desire can play a big role in seeing changes on our streets. Creating open streets and public spaces for such activities also promotes public health, well-being, fitness, togetherness and joy.

Four Raahgiri Day events were hosted by DDC Delhi in Patparganj (East Delhi), Najafgarh (Outer Delhi), Chittranjan Park (South Delhi) and Burari (North Delhi) in the presence of local MLAs. On Raahgiri Days, a road stretch of around a kilometer was cordoned off for a few hours on Sunday mornings so that local residents could occupy it in large numbers and use the same for recreation that promotes health, wellbeing, fitness, togetherness and joy. A range of activities such as walking, running, cycling, skating, street games, music band, painting, dancing, performing arts, yoga, aerobics, Zumba etc. will be organised.

Delhi residents, especially children, artists, fitness experts etc. thronged the Raahgiri Day events even on winter mornings and people from all age groups appreciated DDC Delhi’s Raahgiri Day campaign against pollution. Amidst a flurry of fun activities, thousands of local residents and school children would pledge to join Delhi’s mass movement against pollution by reducing their share of pollution. Cycle rallies were organised at the venues and electric cycle companies spread awareness among the attendees about sustainable mobility. The creative ways in which Delhi Government school students expressed their concerns about the environment and the future of the planet garnered much attention.

Raahgiri 1- East Delhi

Date: 14 November, 2021 (on the occasion of Children’s Day) (7 AM to 10 AM)

Location: Patparganj (Stretch of road between BSES Yamuna Power Limited office and Sarvodaya Kanya/Bal Vidyalaya in West Vinod Nagar, Patparganj)

Chief Guests: Sh. Manish Sisodia (Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi and Patparganj MLA) and Sh. Jasmine Shah (Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi)

“It is our collective duty to come forward and reduce pollution on an individual and community level. We can together build a foundation for a healthier Delhi by taking small steps such as switching off vehicles at traffic signals and switching to public transport. Delhi Government will leave no stone unturned to fulfill its commitment to make roads safe and accessible for public mobility and to reduce vehicular pollution in Delhi.”
- Sh. Manish Sisodia (Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi)

“Reducing pollution by promoting sustainable mobility is a core aspect of the ‘Yuddh, Pradushan ke Viruddh’ campaign unveiled by Hon'ble CM Arvind Kejriwal. Raahgiri Foundation has pioneered the model of bringing together communities around the issues of sustainable mobility, safe streets and reducing environmental footprint since 2013 and it is our pleasure at DDC Delhi to collaborate with them to take this message to different parts of Delhi through many citizen-engagement events over the next 3 months.”
- Sh. Jasmine Shah (Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi)

Raahgiri 2- Outer Delhi

Date: 28 November 2021 (7 AM to 10 AM)

Location: Najafgarh (Stretch of road from R C Institute of Technology, Najafgarh towards Mitraon)

Chief Guests: Sh. Kailash Gahlot (Delhi Transport Minister and Najafgarh MLA) and Sh. Jasmine Shah (Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi)

“When the Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi suggested Najafgarh as the next location for ‘Raahgiri Day’ as the region had never had such an event, I immediately agreed to the same and said that the energy and enthusiasm of Najafgarh residents is unparalleled. If we want to change Delhi, we must take all regions of Delhi together. Due to the efforts of DDC Delhi and Raahgiri Foundation, programmes that had remained confined to the inner regions of Delhi are now being enjoyed in Najafgarh as well. The programme hopes to convey the message that if we want to reduce pollution, we need to stop depending on private vehicles when we can cycle, walk and run instead. Delhi government is committed to making the roads safer for pedestrians and our efforts to convert the traffic intersection at Rajghat into a pedestrian-friendly zone is one such recent example. With awareness generated by ‘Raahgiri Day’, we can together work towards pollution-free Delhi.”
- Sh. Kailash Gahlot (Transport Minister)

“Roads are not just for use by vehicles but for the communities to enjoy. We have all witnessed Delhi’s pollution and can understand why we need to reduce use of private motor vehicles to reduce our share of pollution. After the first ‘Raahgiri Day’ organised in East Delhi saw enthusiastic citizen participation, we decided to bring the event to the outer areas of Delhi. With the collective commitment and effort of various communities towards sustainable mobility, we can together reduce Delhi’s pollution and ensure safe streets. In Hon’ble CM’s leadership, Najafgarh will set an example for the rest of Delhi about how to together reduce pollution.”
- Sh. Jasmine Shah (Vice Chairperson, DDC Delhi)

"Place-making is connecting people with places and there is no better way of making these connections than the streets of our cities. Today's 'Raahgiri Day' in Najafgarh is one such example. We thank Hon'ble Transport Minister Sh. Kailash Gahlot and VC, DDC Delhi Sh. Jasmine Shah for making this possible.”
- Smt. Sarika Panda Bhatt, Co-founder of Raahgiri Foundation

Raahgiri 3- South Delhi

Date: 12 December 2021 (7:30 AM to 10:30 AM)

Location: Chittranjan Park (EPDP main road stretch, between Pocket 40 and K1 Block)

Chief Guests: Sh. Saurabh Bhardwaj (Greater Kailash MLA), Smt. Atishi (Kalkaji MLA) and Sh. Gopal Mohan (Member, DDC Delhi and Advisor to Chief Minister)

“It is heartening to see so many senior citizens, youth, children, housewives, working people assemble today to have fun together and to remind ourselves that if we work together, we can also improve Delhi’s air quality.”
- Sh. Saurabh Bhardwaj (Greater Kailash MLA)

"I cycled today after 10 years! Taking action to reduce air pollution like cycling, walking, taking public transport etc. seems cumbersome to us but Raahgiri Day has shown us that all of this can be so much fun. The beauty of ‘Raahgiri Day’ is that people take out one morning from their busy lives for themselves and to free Delhi of pollution. One of the objectives of running the Raahgiri campaign is to make the public aware of the option of walking, cycling etc. If our areas have enough space for walking, cycling on the roads, then we should use those places.”
- Smt. Atishi (Kalkaji MLA)

“DDC has organised these events to set an example of how all kinds of stakeholders can come together to reduce air pollution. Seeing the enthusiasm of the residents of Patparhanj, Najafgarh and now in CR Park, we are convinced that the initiative should be led entirely by the communities. We would love to see anti-pollution ‘Raahgiri Days’ happening all over Delhi where citizens decide to make big and small changes to protect our environment.”
- Sh. Gopal Mohan (DDC Delhi Member and Advisor to Chief Minister)

Raahgiri 4- North Delhi

Date: 6 March 2022 (7:30 AM to 10:30 AM)

Location: Burari (from Pushta Road Baba Colony to Pradhan Colony)

Chief Guests: Sh. Sanjeev Jha (Burari MLA) and Smt. Reena Gupta (Environment Advisor to Delhi Government and Member of Delhi@2047 Steering Committee)

“Pollution affects us all and should be a bipartisan issue that brings everyone together. But in the age of social media, in-person interaction with one’s local community has taken a major hit. Initiatives like ‘Raahgiri Day’ provide the much-needed occasion for rallying efforts of the community around their common concerns. As local stakeholders get to physically interact with each other on ‘Raahgiri Day’, they get the opportunity to recognise their collective interests and strategise optimal ways to curb their share of pollution. Burari also has the great fortune of being blessed with Yamuna. The enthusiasm of Burari residents towards reducing pollution has assured me that we will be able to converge our efforts towards the cleaning of Yamuna.”
- Burari MLA Sh. Sanjeev Jha

“Hon’ble Chief Minister of Delhi Sh. Arvind Kejriwal launched the ‘Yuddh Pradushan Ke Viruddh’ campaign with the vision of making Delhi one of the greenest and cleanest cities of the world by engaging and encouraging individual and community action by citizens. In line with this vision, DDC Delhi put forth the concept of ‘Neighbourhood Raahgiri’ for bringing together all kinds of stakeholders to reduce pollution. The programme hopes to convey that if we want to reduce pollution, we need to stop depending on private vehicles when we can cycle, walk and run instead. Seeing the enthusiasm of locals in Patparganj, Najafgarh, CR Park and now Burari, we are convinced that the initiative should be led entirely by the communities. DDC Delhi will soon release a toolkit to enable motivated citizens to take initiative to bring together their communities and organise such a ‘Raahgiri Day’ in their own neighbourhoods.”
- Smt. Reena Gupta, Environment Advisor to Delhi Government

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