GUWAHATI, June 5 - Fourteen-year-old MTB champion Malav Dutta was appointed as the first Junior Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati on the occasion of World Bicycle Day on June 3.
He was selected from among a set of five bright young people who had applied for the position. This is a programme initiated by the Amsterdam-based social enterprise�BYCS�who had earlier appointed Arshel Akhter as the first Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati in 2018.
In Guwahati, the programme was implemented under the support and guidance of Pedal For�Change � an NGO working towards promotion of cycling and cyclists in the region. The NGO was founded in 2019 by Pratibhu Dutta, Bikash Doley and Arshel Akhter.
�BYCS appoints Bicycle Mayors for advocating cycling as a mode of sustainable urban transport. The Junior Bicycle Mayor programme is designed to encourage youngsters to take up cycling and prepare them for future leadership roles in this area. The Junior Bicycle Mayor will be guided and supported by the Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati to promote cycling. The Junior Bicycle Mayor will be the voice for making the city safer for children,� Akhter told The Assam Tribune.
He added that Malav, a student of Capital Metropolitan English High School, Zoo Tiniali, was a bright young person who had done very well in competitive sports in a very short time.
�He started practising for and joining MTB since the last couple of years and has performed very well. He had won two medals at the 16th�National Mountain Biking Championship held at Haldwani, Uttarakhand, earlier this year. Apart from this, he has performed very well in many good competitions across the region. He regularly participates in various other cycling events like rallies and rides across the city,� Akhter said.
Malav says that he wanted to encourage youngsters to take up mountain biking as a sport. �I also want to encourage more people to use cycles as a mode of transport so that the pollution levels are reduced and people become fit. I want the city to be safer for cycling,� he said.
With his selection, Malav becomes the third�Junior Bicycle Mayor in India. The first one is a boy from Valsad in Gujarat and the second one a girl from Trivandrum in Kerela who was also selected on June 3, 2020. Internationally, two other cities have Junior Bicycle Mayor � Amsterdam and Dublin.
Apart from the selection of Malav, Akhter collaborated with the over 40 Bicycle Mayors in India to organise a virtual musical concert with the support of DJ Vispi. Cycling Clubs from every part of the country took part enthusiastically in the event.