A sustainable walk for a sustainable future
I am in a profession where I need to travel to various places almost frequently. I work almost eight to ten hours sitting on a chair and starring at the laptop screen. While on tour I eat unhealthy foods which actually adds cholesterol to my tummy. And in a while I have put up around twenty Kilograms additional weight to transfer myself into overweight category.
Recently for a project I have been to Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE a couple of times. I still remember the first day of my visit to a totally unknown place. I was put up in a hotel in tourist club area and little information that I had was, I need to travel to my office by taking a cab. I kept on waiting for 40 long minutes to manage to get cab which took me to my office in less than 4 minutes time and charged around 10 AED. Later on enquiry I found that by using short cut roads the distance to my office is around a kilometre and half. The health advantage of walking is known to me as I anxiously browse through various health topics to keep myself theoretically healthy. But this time I decided to take a chance to take a step forward by walking daily to my office. Some of my Indian counterpart on the same project advised me to take a cab from hotel with additional charge of 4 AED which is affordable. By then I developed a passion for walk.
One day a person enquired why I do so and ignore their advice to comfort myself. I immediately took pride to give him my reasons about walking daily, in a single breath. “You see, walking can improve your health and fitness by helping you lose body fat, improve fitness. It also helps you to avoid heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. You carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise. Some of the benefits include increased cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness, reduced risk of heart disease and stroke, improved management of conditions such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, joint and muscular pain or stiffness and diabetes, stronger bones and improved balance, increased muscle strength and endurance and reduce body fat. Try to walk briskly for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.”
The man left the place quietly. Then I realised that I had made a mistake by advising him on something which is not his area of concern. I went up to him and said, “You see, walking with others can turn exercising into an enjoyable social occasion. Why don’t you join me in a sustainable walk as we get less time to interact while in office? Besides, there are other reasons also.” He jumped up and said “What!”. I continued, “It saves our money and most importantly saves mother Earth from pollution and global warming.” We both laughed at it as we know that Abu Dhabi is less polluted city than any city in India. From then on-wards we continued walking daily to our office and back to hotel and in a short while we could lead a team who were influenced by us. The tagline was ‘ sustainable walk ‘.
Back home in Kolkata, I use public conveyance for my office. On my way, I see many people using public transport to travel or walking on busy roads to reach their destination. I also see many on massive cars covering 6 sq.m area all alone creating congestion and further emitting smoke with pollutants which make the city unbearable and vulnerable specially for elderly people and kids. On my way back during evening, I see many in casuals have come to shop and restaurants flaunting their luxury cars on the road. I wonder why people could not share their car or use bicycle for shorter distances.
My plea to all of them who has the capacity to lead, kindly spread the message of ‘Sustainable Walk’ and observe one day at least in a week to contribute towards the cause of sustainable walk and gift a better place of living to our successors. It may be a fantastic idea to even think of biking in place of walking.