IMPHAL, Nov 30 - Manipur Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister Karam Shyam on Thursday became the first minister in the BJP-led coalition government in the north-eastern State of Manipur to arrive at his office riding a bicycle. He also rode bicycle till the Chief Minister�s bungalow for the Cabinet meeting held in the afternoon.
As announced on November 26 during a programme called Cyclothon at Malom Oil Depot in south Imphal, the minister began his cycle ride from his official residence at Sanjenthong till his office at Old Secretariat, Babupara, covering about 1 km.
�The objective of the cycle ride is to spread awareness about fuel conservation,� minister said, adding, �One should practise austerity to bring a new positive wave in the political system for a new Manipur.�
Speaking to mediapersons at his office at Old Secretariat, he said, �The mindset among the general public is that riding a bicycle lowers the status, and that mindset needs to be changed. Youths of the State must not feel ashamed riding bicycles to schools and colleges and coaching classes.�
Minister Karam Shyam added that one should set a challenge to bring a change and not wait for others to initiate the change. Every individual must lead a practical life to bring a positive change taking ownership in leadership, he added.
The minister also said that Chief Minister N Biren Singh appreciated his decision to cycle to work and expressed hope that other Cabinet ministers would also follow his example.