image courtesy google
image courtesy google


This morning as I was riding my bike down to the Kala Academy at Goa, a teenage kid from the college near by just dashed on, almost knocking me and my bike. She of course swore rather pathetically, at that moment I was nasty I told her, “if she wanted to die she should go under a bus or SUV bikes are bad choice.”

But what I did realize we have begun to negate pedestrians, or maybe I should say pedestrians are near extinction.

the international walk to school month. Better known as IWALK is annual global event.

With the increase in the number of parents who drive their kids to school, this event has been created to look at active transport and its related issue. It also intends to introduce the communities to active and safe school routes.

Event i-walk re-emphasises the preservation of environment and requires everyone to collectively do their part in any way possible.

The proportions of journeys to school made by car has increased considerably in the last years, with the knock-off effect being a gradual decline in the numbers of children walking and wheeling to and from school on a regular basis. If the child does use his/her own wheels to school then it is usually the non-geared motor vehicles.

i-walk promotes increasing daily physical activity. improving pedestrian safety, enhancing the environment, reducing crime levels, developing community cohesion, promoting social interaction, and reducing traffic congestion, pollution and speed near schools.

There is a lot we could do as communities this was an interesting handout I came across,  this said “Teach your child to walk

Walking with parents or another caregiver is an important way for children to practise crossing real streets and picking safe places to walk. There is no magical age when the child is declared fit to walk alone, but as parents we decide when we trust of child enough to take responsibility. But we would of course have the onus of giving the child skills and experience to deal with traffic.

Some things that the pamphlet said was really interesting like,

  • Wear bright coloured clothes, and carry torches if you are walking in the evening.
  • Wear reflective gear if it is dark or hard to see.
  • Look for traffic at every drive way and intersection.
  • Beware of drivers in parked cars they might be getting ready to move.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signs.

As kids we were taught to cross the street safely, I do not remember teaching my child this, because either they went by school bus, or my husband or I dropped them. so basic road crossing skills would involve.

  1. Stop at the curb of the street,
  2. Cross at the pedestrian crossings.
  3. Look left, look right, look left, look behind you and in front of you for traffic.
  4. Wait till there is no traffic, or wait for the walkers signal.
  5. Keep an eye on traffic till you have crossed.
  6. Walk , don’t run.
image courtsey internet
image courtsey internet

Somehow we do not seem to understand that it takes time and practise for a child to develop the ability to deal with lots of traffic. Over time, children develop the ability to accurately judge the speed and distance of the oncoming traffic. Usual mistake that children make is that since they can see the driver they assume the driver can see them, they have to be made to realize that it is not so.

Again there are speed limits and parking criteria at school zones which somehow we do not seem to practise. parking on the curbs, and sidewalks are quite normal leaving no space for the pedestrian to walk.

The i-walk event is also to create a community responsibility towards pedestrians.

With our obsession of aping the west, one thing we could do well in learning is strengthening the community school, such that children do not commute to school but attend the school nearest to their residence. People tend to pick residences in and around schools that they would like their child to attend.

2 Replies to “I-walk”

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