Do you have an old cycle that hasn’t seen the light of the day in ages and is rusting away to waste in a corner of your house?
What if we tell you that it could have a better use in form of a commute for underprivileged children?
Two Bengaluru residents are helping kids from economically weak sections of the society to have cycles of their own by fixing old bikes donated by people in the city.
Freedom Pedals is an initiative by a software engineer and his friend where they source in used cycles, repair and donate them to these kids.
Started as an abstract idea in 2014, today the initiative is a fully-fledged project under which the duo have provided 33 children with ‘upcycled’ cycles that they can proudly call as their own.
“We accept cycles in any condition as long as the frame is intact. Donors can drop it off at my apartment or at a pre-decided place and we take care of repairs and cleaning before giving it to the children. This began as a small initiative in my apartment block in 2016 where I saw several cycles that had been left chained to the lobby and were going to rust. We managed to collect 12 cycles last year,” Girish S. Kumar, a Marathahalli-based software engineer, told The Hindu.
The other person behind the initiative is Sampath Ramanujam, who is founder of the not-for-profit Anvaya Foundation that lends a helping hand to the underprivileged fraction.
Supporting the duo in the project was Venkatramaiya, principal of a government school at K. Dommasandra, who helped store the 12 cycles they had sourced last year.
“He also used his contacts to arrange for transportation and repair. We eventually donated the cycles to his students on Independence Day in 2016,” Girish added.
This year has proved a lot more fruitful for Freedom Pedals. A lot of people living in the nearby nieghbourhoods have approached them to donate their old cycles and as of last Saturday, they have managed to collect 21 cycles.
If you wish to put your unused cycle to a greater use, you can contact the team on 9663033699 or mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.