Putting the Pedal to the Metal―Manipal Cyclothon
As a part of Revels’19, the Student Council of MIT, in association with the MAHE Sports Council conducted the Manipal Cyclothon on 3rd March 2019. The event witnessed a sizeable turnout, as cyclists of various age groups, ranging from toddlers to senior citizens, gathered at the EDU building for the inauguration. The cyclothon served two purposes―the commemoration of Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth year anniversary, and the promotion of the Eat Right India movement.
Dr Srikanth Rao, the Director of MIT, Dr B.H. Venkataram Pai, the Joint Director of MIT, and Ganesh Nayak, faculty of Department of Electronics and Instrumentation MIT, were the guests of honour at the event. In his opening speech, Dr Srikanth Rao lauded the participants for attending the event, while encouraging the use of cycles as a cleaner and healthier alternative to motor vehicles. Ganesh Nayak followed up with a short speech about the increase in the number of motor vehicles and pollution in the recent past and its growing concerns. Further, he spoke about his book Uncharted: My Journey into the Himalayas, which was launched the previous day.
The participants began their journey at the EDU building. The cyclists embarked on a route spanning over 7 kilometres, passing through several landmarks of Manipal. After crossing the Upendra Pai coinage monument circle to reach the District Collector’s office, they went on to pass by Syndicate Circle, and then cycled around the Manipal Lake and entered the MIT campus through the gates of Venugopal Temple. From there, they cycled past the MIT hostel blocks 21, 22, 4, 3, 2, and 1 to reach the finishing point at the Director’s office. Breakfast was then served to the participants outside the finish line.
“I like cycling, and I do a lot of it in my free time―especially during weekends. I enjoyed the last cyclothon, so when I heard about this one, I decided to take part in it”, said Vasanth Kamath, a participant and faculty member at TAPMI. “Ganesh Nayak was the one who conceptualised the cyclothon. But the Student Council and Mahe Sports Council have worked to execute his vision”, said Likhith Shivaprasad, a 2nd year IP student and Joint Sports Secretary of the Student Council. “This event isn’t really a race. Participants are not rewarded for being fast. It’s all about promoting cycling in Manipal”, he added.
The Manipal Cyclothon fulfilled a number of motives. While it honoured Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth year anniversary and promoted the Eat Right India movement, it also encouraged the use of bicycles among students to reduce pollution and improve health. It provided Manipal’s cycling enthusiasts with an opportunity to cycle for a good cause. The success of such events pushes Manipal a step further into becoming a clean, and green city, as we implement more such eco-friendly alternatives.
Image Credits: Photography and Videography Team, Revels ’19