Auroville takes out green rally
1 Mar 2009, 0257 hrs IST, Bosco Dominique, TNN PUDUCHERRY:
Electric cycles, motorbikes and cars took off in a convoy from the solar kitchen at Auroville on Saturday evening in a bid to raise awareness about climate change. As the rally touched major landmarks in the town from Darkali and international zone to Savitri Bhavan and Aurodam, the scores of participants drew curious stares and encouraging cheers.
“The response has been terrific. There’s been so much enthusiasm. What started as a little movement on environment-friendly transportation has gained momentum. We propose to make the event an annual feature,”
said Luigi Zanzi of L’avenir d’Auroville, one of the organisers of the event, told The Times of India. Participants included Aurovillians and residents from neighbouring regions. Manoj from Kerala, who made Auroville his home 14 years ago and works as a web developer, bought an electric cycle for Rs 24,000 a month back, though regular cycles cost less than half that.
“It is an investment based on a philosohy of caring for the world and sustainable development. The price doesn’t matter,”
he said. Manoj said research on utilization of renewable energy required great investment and added that he was proud to be among the pioneers patronising eco-friendly projects.
“I changed my entire lifestyle and my house is now solar-powered,”
he said. Another participant Pashi Kapoor, who owns a Reva electric car, settled in Auroville in the late 1960s.
“The rally is an occasion to reaffirm our commitment to preserving and protecting our environment. It is unfortunate that a serious issue like degradation of environment is given little prominence. Campaigns like this rally will enlighten the public,”
Kapoor said. Akash Heimlich and Auro Sukrit, who were inspired by former US vice president and environmentalist Al Gore’s film on the environment ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, established an electronic cycle and motorcycle manufacturing unit, ‘EVFuture’ in Auroville. “We have launched trial versions of 15 different types of electronic motorcycles and 30 electronic cycles. The response is terrific and most of our clientele participated in the rally,” Heimlich said.