Kudumbashree to embark on a pedal-powered mission

Rent-a-bicycle units under Project Pink Riders to offer sustainable employment

How can a bicycle generate employment? For starters, they can be rented out. They may be high in demand among those looking for cheap transportation. This is the premise on which Project Pink Riders has been designed.

For the Kudumbashree community development societies (CDSs) of the Kozhikode Corporation, known for their innovative projects, Project Pink Riders is like killing two birds with one stone.

All that one needs are a few bicycles, and there begins a mission that caters for the environment-conscious, health-conscious, budget-conscious, and the safety-conscious alike. The project is the first-of-its-kind initiative in the State.

Designed by the National Urban Livelihood Mission wing of the Kozhikode Corporation, the project primarily aims at setting up rent-a-bicycle units under the Kudumbashree as a means of providing sustainable employment to the urban poor women. The target people are those who come to Kozhikode city from afar, including tourists, who could take bicycles on rent from the units. “Cycling is the cheapest means of transportation. At a time when fuel prices are soaring, it has almost become the need of the hour,” said T.K. Prakashan, Kudumbashree project officer, Kozhikode Corporation.

On the other hand, the cycle parks form part of the corporation’s efforts to promote Green City culture. “Cycling is a very good exercise. There is no pollution too. We plan to encourage cycling among women,” Mr. Prakashan said. The project also aims at ensuring the safety of women travellers. Bicycles are considered safer compared to other means of transportation.

The cycle parks will be set up on a pilot basis at three major tourist locations in Kozhikode city—beach, Sarovaram Biopark, and Mananchira. The corporation will identify appropriate locations for the parks and ready the required infrastructure. It includes sheds to keep cycles, drinking water availability, toilets, and cafeteria. The cost of the project is ₹20 lakh, of which the corporation has set aside ₹2.5 lakh, and the rest will be collected through sponsorship and loans. The Kudumbashree Mission will find appropriate candidates to form entrepreneur groups to manage the cycle parks.

The project will be executed in coordination with other Kudumbashree projects such as She Lodge and Janakeeya Hotel. In the initial stage, each group will get 10 cycles. Members of the groups will be trained in cycle maintenance too.

Mr. Prakashan said the project would be implemented in two months.

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