Thursday, January 7, 2010

GTD by walking!

BBC today reported about how villagers in an Indian suburb near New Delhi built their own railway station. "The Tajnagar station is situated between the Patli and Jataula Jauri stations - 3.5km (two miles) from each station."

What, 3.5 km between the stations, such a short distance! Can't we walk instead? I have started walking at least 5 kilometers a day as part of my, yet another, 2010 resolution for saving money, getting healthier, happier and as an entertainment. When I was a kid, my mom used to walk almost 7 kilometer to and from our nearest bus-stop then, for her work. My father is 69 years old, yet he walks almost 4 kilometers a day. Today when I walked from my village to the nearby town, a distance of some 3.5km (and I tell you, I didn't see any one else who is walking for more than a few hundred meters), I have been asked by two people-whom I knew for long time, why do I have to walk, why can't I take autorikshaw?

This is alarming. This kind of modernization to an extant such as to take taxis to commute distances that can easily and healthily be covered by walking. This is not the India I knew a few years ago and this kind of development is not what I dream of. With those 1.2 billion compatriots who won't like could easily guess the impact of this economic boom in a carbon-footprint point-of-view.

I can almost certainly affirm that average Americans or English walk or run or jog more than we Indians, even if we don't own cars as much as they do. Someone clever has even made an excellent guide Walk or Bus? to choose between them in a time-saving perspective. In Shikoku island, Japan, there is an ancient pilgrim trail called O'Shikoku mawari- (八十八ヶ所巡り) a distance of almost 1200 km that is being covered by walkers even this day, like the young woman as seen in the photograph on right.

So, come people in Tajnagar, lets walk to Patli or Jataula instead of taking a diesel train! Well, there are some exceptions that we all know (like those who are ill or have no leg to walk!). Let us not avoid walking for we have enough money to burn petroleum, let us think with integrity!

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