My name is Pooja Vijay from Jaipur, India. I did bachelors in law and commerce. And a lawyer by qualification, despite a corporate job profile, a husband I coveted, a daughter who is a sheer bundle of joy, I felt something amiss and wanted to make my life more meaningful. I was soul searching for definitive answers. I found my solution when I was stuck in an extended traffic jam which sadly has now become a routine daily affair. I suddenly realized that if people moved on cycles, it would have multiple benefits. No more traffic jams and congestion! The pollution levels will also come down, and the health benefits would be icing on the cake. I plunged into this idea headlong, and the sheer joy and excitement of motherhood beckoned me again to give birth to a new idea. My surname means victory, and I achieved it over the inertia that I was grappling over. Thus came my cycling rental agency- very aptly named as Pink Pedals- a tribute to my glorious city that has nurtured me into an exceptional being over the years. It was my turn to give something back to her in the auspicious month of July 2017 and I founded “PINK PEDALS”
What is your mission?
The world needs more cycles than ever! I am incredibly privileged to be a part of this
silent revolution. Being a Bicycle Mayor, I will focus on my Mission, that is, my city should have more and more cycle tracks, bring changes in people mind-sets towards cycling and more use of cycles to reduce traffic and pollution level by introducing bicycle sharing projects in city, big corporate houses, school and universities and in campuses with vast area. I will certainly motivate students to commute on cycles for their schools and colleges. Professionals to ride to their work and use of cycles in their regular lifestyle. Being a Historical city, I want tourist to pedal and see the beauty of Pink City. I have already started generating love towards cycling in children by organising Juniors Cyclothon in Jaipur with the aim “Every Rider Is a Winner”. The last event was held on 23 rd December 2018 where more than 300 children participated and the youngest rider was of 2.3 years old.
What are the obstacles and challenges you’re facing in your city?
The Major challenges I am facing in my city is mind-set of people towards cycles, traffic system and lack of cycling tracks. Jaipur being the tourist destination and a land of rich heritage, congestion of heavy traffic on roads have made difficult to cover even one kilometre in one hour during busy hours of the day. Introducing cycles in such car centric environment will be one of my major obstacles.
I feel if I can convince female of the family to ride a cycle then it becomes quite simple to convince entire family to start pedalling. So bringing females on cycles will be a challenge that constitutes half of the percentage of the society. Cycling being a part of recreation is loved by many in my city; however adapting cycling in their daily routine for commutation and health will be one major challenge.
What is the next step?
My first step will be to fight for the rights of the cyclist and raise voice for the dedicated cycling tracks. I will be working hard on my project to promote cycling amongst kids through JUNIORS CYCLOTHON in my city engaging more kids and more schools. Keeping my mission in mind, I can proudly announce that I have been able to convince and motivate India’s biggest integrated city in Jaipur to have Public Bicycle Sharing program with the help of my initiative Pink Pedals and will be launching it soon.
What lesson can your city teach others?
The changes I can bring by cycles in my city being a Bicycle Mayor will automatically
give fresh air to breathe, healthy people to accelerate my country’s growth, systematic traffic which will create benchmark for other cities to inherit.