I am glad to share this news with all the loyal readers of this blog that I have received the 2023 United Nations World Bicycle Day Award for “Excellence in promoting cycling for all’.
The award has been given by Dr. Leszek Sibilski, the founder of World Bicycle Day with the United Nations. The award was shipped to India from United States last month.
The World Bicycle Day Award was started in 2021 by the founder Dr. Leszek Sibilski who founded 3rd June as the World Bicycle Day along with the United Nations in 2018 with support of 200 countries. A few selected people from across the globe who promote cycling are acknowledged for their efforts through this recognition.
On this momentous occasion Dr. Leszek Sibilski said “The idea behind the World Bicycle Day Award of the United Nations is to recognize and appreciate those unsung heroes around the world who day in and day out passionately promote cycling for all. Undoubtedly, Vijay Malhotra is just one of them.
Our primary motivation at World Bicycle Day is to eradicate worldwide bicycle illiteracy, which currently stands slightly over 50%. In addition, we need to empower cycling leaders and organizations at every possible level of our global society. We hope that our global community will meet our efforts with open arms while promoting the bicycle for mutual benefit, spanning the spectrum of psychological to physical and beyond.
Our Ultimate goal is to achieve 100% global cycling literacy. The bicycle should be a central tool of physical education and civic and economic education in schools worldwide. It is also a means of active mobility, competition by elite athletes, recreation, and an affordable, readily available tool for living healthy, productive lives. This goal can create a truly clean and green bicycle revolution for upcoming generations.”
It is a moment of pride for all the Mumbaikars and the cycling community of India. A bicycle is a humble means of transportation and source of livelihood for millions of people who suffer transport poverty and use it as a means of mobility. It is also used by fancy cyclists who ride for recreation, endurance, touring, and competition.
I believe that this award belongs to the people of India, and I want to dedicate this accolade to every citizen who strives to bring pride for the nation in their respective fields. A bicycle is a symbol of hope, aspirations, and a tool of empowerment for millions of people. With a bicycle a lot can, be achieved to negate the impact of climate change, make our cities livable, sustainable, inclusive, and accessible for all demographics. I hope our government focuses on building the cycling infrastructure to increase ridership and enjoy its multi-fold potential benefits of low traffic, reduced air pollution, good physical and mental health, and economic and environmental impacts.
This award is empowering and motivating for me to continue to promote cycling and I want to thank Dr. Leszek Sibilski for this honor.
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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai