The early morning temperature at New Town may have been lower than the rest of the city by at least a degree, but the happiness more than made up for it as thousands arrived to be a part of Happy Streets on Sunday. Organized by The Times of India in association with Bidhannagar City Police, the second edition of Happy Streets at New Town was dedicated to fun, fitness, well being and reclaiming the road space.
Much of the credit went to the police, who deployed over 100 personnel. Cops were stationed since early morning to ensure pedestrians had their right to walk and play on the road. They set up stalls, displaying breathalyzers and speedguns, and answered hundreds of questions about the yearend festivities. “The most common questions were how the breathalyzers work and how much they can drink to ensure they are not booked while returning from parties,” said a senior officer of New Town traffic guard.
Held on the T-polygon comprising Biswa Bangla Sarani, Street 757 and Street 672 — adjacent to City Centre II — the event made sure honking, toxic fumes and the mad rush of every day were replaced by walks, runs, cycling, dance, music, yoga and much more.
“I couldn’t resist and ended up dancing like my granddaughter,” said 65-year-old Arundhati Saraogi from Tegharia. The tone of the event was set by Tri Taal, which played a medley of new and old Hindi songs and a zumba session by Vivala Salsa also drew a massive audience.
For those not that into grooving to dance music, there were events like yoga by Mystic Yoga and meditaion by Heartfulness, barely 50m away. The kids were engrossed in activities by Sticky Bits and Stone Paper Scissors, as well as in karate sessions by JFK-Goju-Kai and Takuji-Kenbukan Karaate-Do-India. The other activities for families and children, like Chalk Art and Game Zone, became huge hits too.
“I was sceptical about Happy Streets when I read about it. But I was curious at the same time. So I came down from my ninth-floor apartment to check it out and I have changed my mind. I will join in next Sunday with my family,” said New Town resident Anil Kher.
The rent-free cycles had several takers and there was a serpentine queue for them. “Cycling is a popular activity worldwide, but sadly, we are moving away from it. One can’t even take an evening ride as roads are congested and not safe for a walk or bicycle ride. Happy Streets gives us a chance to use the roads for three hours just the way we like it,” said Sourav Agarwal, a student.
Source: Times of India