You are here

Reclaiming Streets, Revitalising Cities

WRI India served as knowledge partners for Raahgiri Day, a streets for all initiative, in New Delhi’s city centre

New Delhi: The Raahgiri Foundation, in partnership with WRI India, the New Delhi Municipal Council, and the New Delhi Police Department revived Raahgiri Day at Connaught Place on Sunday. This event will be held every Sunday for the next six months, affording people vehicle-free streets to walk, cycle, play, and engage with the community. Taj Hassan, Special Commissioner of Police, New Delhi, and Rashmi Singh, Secretary, NDMC, were chief guests.

"Road safety is a major concern and we want to spread awareness around that through this initiative," said Taj Hassan in his inaugural address to the crowds that gathered early on Sunday morning to participate in this streets for all initiative.

Increasing motorisation has resulted in declining air quality, rise in road traffic crashes, and unhealthy lifestyles that bring with it a range of health issues, including obesity, and risk of respiratory illness and heart failure. Initiatives like Raahgiri Day aim to encourage non-motorised forms of transport, like walking and cycling, which can help contribute towards reversing this trend.

At Connaught Place, motorised vehicles were restricted from entering the inner circle and all the radials from 6 am to 9 am, and the space was left open for people, creating an inclusive public space for young and old to engage with the community and participate in various activities like Zumba, cricket, dance, yoga, cycling, and others.

MaxHealthcare also partnered with Raahgiri Day to spread awareness around cancer. As part of their campaign, Nirdaar Hamesha, survivors of cancer and their families shared stories from their inspiring journeys to survival, or how they were currently battling with the disease.

Since its inception in 2013, Raahgiri Day has spread to over 70 cities across 19 states in India with different iterations of the streets for all concept. More than 13 million people have participated in these events, and there has been engagement with various city-level stakeholders like local municipal bodies, enforcement agencies, residential welfare associations, schools, businesses, non-profits, volunteer groups, and citizens. In many cities, Raahgiri Day has been used as a platform to spread awareness around women’s empowerment, child rights, health, and other social justice issues. For instance, in Lucknow, the development authority organised Raahgiri Day yesterday focused on women’s health, where there were free health check-ups, and programs around the importance of menstrual hygiene and self-defence.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletters

Get the latest commentary, upcoming events, publications, and multimedia resources. Sign up for the monthly WRI India Digest.