On 21st September, 2022, on UN International Day of Peace, India Peace Centre hosted its signature annual event, the IPC Bicycle Rally for Peace.
The rally was flagged off by Dr Tejinder Singh Rawal, Director of India Peace Centre, Vikrant Shandilya, founder of Nation Next Media, Harshal Zade, National Rifle Shooter, and Rakesh Tumane, Director (Finance) MOIL. Dr Asir Ebenezer, the Chairman of India Peace Centre sent his best wishes for the success of the rally.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Tejinder Singh Rawal said, “It is heartening to see the overwhelming response to the rally. During the pandemic a large number of people have taken to cycling and are contributing their efforts in saving the environment and precious fossil fuel. He added that India Peace Centre is committed to bringing peace in society and has been celebrating the International Day of Peace with much enthusiasm. Achieving true peace requires the building of societies where all members feel that they can flourish. It involves creating a world in which people are treated equally, regardless of their race. The United Nations theme for 2022 is “End racism. Build peace.”
Mr Vikrant Shandilya lauded the efforts of India Peace Centre in bringing hundreds of youths together and spreading the message of peace through them.
Mr. Rakesh Tumane appreciated the good work being done by India Peace centre. He said “I am a cyclist and ride 25 kms daily, and would like to advise the youth to take cycling as a daily routine.
Mr. Harish Zade spoke about the importance of sports in bringing about peace in society.
The Bicycle Rally for Peace is a brainchild of Dr Rawal, and has been held every year since 2013. After a break of two years, due to Covid, this year the Rally was conceived on a much bigger scale. Online Registrations were opened 10 days in advance to facilitate easy registrations. The people of Nagpur gave a tremendous response to the rally, and registrations were closed after crossing 1050 registrations!
Complimentary T-Shirts, with the message of ‘Live Peace, Love Peace’, and ‘Peace Ambassadors’ were distributed a day earlier, on September 20, in a day long exercise which was efficiently handled by the Volunteers of India Peace Centre.
On the morning of 21st September, cyclists assembled at India Peace Centre at 6:00 AM despite light rains in the city. After some very inspiring words by the guests of honour, the rally was flagged off at 6:30 AM. The route of the rally covered important landmarks in Nagpur, including Japanese Garden, Seminary Hills, Futala Lake, Ravi Nagar, Law College, Sitabuldi, RBI Square and Akashwani Square. The total distance covered by the rally was 14 kms. There was a shorter 12 km route, which skipped Seminary Hills, for amateur cyclists.
The huge participation by the cyclists created a big splash in the city, and the citizens of Nagpur cheered the rally participants all along the route. The participants proudly spread the message of Peace all along the rally route.
The rally stopped for a few minutes near Futala Lake for group photos. The rally took another important stop at the Gandhi statue at Sitabuldi square. Dr Rawal, along with the Core Committee members of India Peace Centre, and the cyclists, offered floral tributes to the Father of the Nation.
The rally made its way through the major intersections of Nagpur, and ended back at India Peace Centre. All the participants were treated with delicious and nutritious refreshments on completing the rally. The refreshments were graciously sponsored by Ms Jigyasa Rawal, who celebrates her birthday on 21st September, refreshments were also sponsored by the Matharu family. Digital e-certificates of participation were given to all participants to recognize their efforts in spreading the message of Peace.
After the rally, cultural programs were organized by the enthusiastic volunteers of India Peace Centre. An interesting skit with the message of Peace and tolerance was performed by RJ Tejal and Rj Preeti. Some very high energy group dances on the theme of patriotism, and a very touching street play on the freedom movement was performed by the NGO, MATRIX warriors. Rudransh Dance Group presented a Flash Mob dance. A live band by Khushal Bhoyar and his group regaled the cyclists. Jayesh Mude, a 15-year-old flautist, played melodious tunes on his flute. Pranay Dasarwar, a beatboxer, engaged the young crowd with his talent. All these performances held the cyclists spellbound for many hours after the rally. The sound arrangements for the entire event were managed by Thungchanbemo Kikon.
It was probably for the first time in many years, that India Peace Centre saw so many footfalls, and hundreds of people became aware of the wonderful work being done by India Peace Centre towards Inter-Faith harmony, World Peace, Nuclear Disarmament, Ecology, Environment, Demilitarization, Social Justice and Human rights.
All the Core Committee members of India Peace Centre, including Rohit Tokhi, Ashish Ashok Deshpande, Amarjit Singh, Lata Tokhi, Yugal Rayalu, Sonal Hikare, Adv. Laxmi Malewar, Mohammed Rafique, Dr. Charu Baheti, Nimish Sutaria, Saurabh Khobragade, Sneha Rathi and others worked hard to make the event a big success!
This year we also had two young and dynamic interns from Germany, Helge Laatzen and Thula, who not only cycled the full route of the Rally, but were also instrumental in organizing, planning and volunteering for the Bicycle Rally.
The Bicycle Rally for Peace initiative by India Peace Centre was ably supported by Dinesh Dhawane, Kapil Sawaikar, Tejal Dasarwar, Sarvesh Kashilekar, Dr. Suhas Deotale, Kavita Jogi Ghugal, Dr. Nirankush Khubalkar, Bhramanand Petkar, Kshatrap Khewale, Gagan Singh Raina, Varun of Goddess Films, Javed Khan, Savit Walde, Prerana Kotangale, Kavya Raisingh, Soham and many more enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers. IP Logistics and Batco Express sponsored some of the T-Shirts. Mr Moreshwar, Sanju, Gautam and the entire staff of India Peace Centre too worked day and night to make the event a big success!
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