Deepanti Pal

My name is Deepanti. I am a bicyclist by choice. I use my bike to commute to work and for recreation. I have been a sportsperson all my life. In school, I was a national-level in-line skater and an athlete. I was an educationist until a few years ago, until I fell in love with cycling and nowadays devote all my time to promoting cycling as a way of life and participating in cycling events – both endurance and racing. In 2018, I was a double Super Randonneur and this year, I finished on podium in a national-level race. I also run bicycling clubs – ‘ Saddle Up Guys’ and ‘Ncyclopedia Bicycling club’.

How would you describe your mission?

I have always believed bicycles are the solution to almost all the problems faced by humanity and my mission is to turn Nagpur into a bicycle friendly city.

What are the obstacles and challenges you’re facing in your city?

The biggest challenge is the lack of awareness in Nagpur- this is the area where I see myself devoting most time as Bicycle Mayor. Second, would be to improve infrastructure.

What are your next steps now that you are the Bicycle Mayor?

Since infrastructure is linked to awareness, I see myself riding to schools, colleges, government and private institutions to spread the bicycle word. I see myself meeting with authorities and trying to solve problems faced by people on bicycles.

What can other cities learn from Nagpur?

Nagpur being the centre of India, second capital of the state of Maharashtra and one of the fastest developing cities in the country where many industries are looking to set up base- has the opportunity to become a model city for cycling. Any development in Nagpur is nowadays lapped up at the national level. Cycling is the latest development in Nagpur. If Nagpur can become a cycling city, despite its harsh summers, so can others.