Jyotsna Jhala a socially inclined lady has an extreme enthusiasm to not only fight for her basic rights but also nurturing a healthy cooperative society. She manages her multiple roles of a teacher, wife, mother, and daughter at a meantime also a social activists in an organization named Pahal the Beginning.
Promoting cycling and demand for encouraging it by the government is the main motto of her organization. Her impressive personality and strong determination leaves her mark where ever she goes. While working as a teacher in a government run school at Badi from last 12 years Jyotsna had also majorly contributed in constructing school building and a library, she is the chief promoter of her group Pahal.
And now to preserve the atmosphere of Udaipur she took a mission to make Udaipur a cycle city.
Following are the excerpt of an interview with Jyostna Jhala, her life and her mission Pahal.
When did you start encouraging people for using bicycle to protect the environment?
We started with our mission with a cycle rally on 23rd Jan 2010 which was also birth anniversary of Subhash Chandra Bose . This rally comprised about 500 people and went through the entire old city area. The reason for choosing that area is because we want people specially from there to start using cycles and make environment clean for themselves and tourists coming to the city.
What motivated you towards this mission?
I was concerned about the city and the increased pollution level but never really thought about it, until last year a series of events took place which motivated me for taking up this mission:
1) First, It was my Japanese friend Okumora who comes to Udaipur every year. His age is 85 years, he is quite passionate about Udaipur and says that his sole resides in Udaipur. But this time round he was really disappointed and complained to me about the increased pollution in the city when he came last year.
2) Second, some geologist researched that the pollution of Udaipur is not mixing up in the atmosphere because the city is surrounded by Aravali Mountain Ranges and this will worsen the condition if the rate of pollution in the city continues like this.
3) Last, A German lady came to Udaipur last year in December and met with a road accident while traveling through the old city. This moved me from inside I made up my mind and was determined not only to start this movement but also to make it successful.
Tell us something about your family background.
I was born at Bankoda village in Dungarpur district. My father was a compounder in a government hospital. He also owned fields where local tribe of the village were put to farming. My mother’s parental home is in Udaipur and I stayed there for 8 years.
What is the mission of your organization ‘Pahal’ the beginning?
Our main mission is to promote cycling
1) Except for that, we aim to have cycle lanes on all the new roads being built by the government.
2) We want people to use cycle at least to an extent that we can save 15% of the fuel used by them.
3) We also want government to promote cycle and give advertisements in the form of TV, Newspaper, and other media for this social cause. We also want that Friday should be declared as a cycle day on which either transport vehicles or cycles will be allowed.
In order to bring their attention for this noble cause and to connect to the masses we go to Fatehsagar every Sunday at 6 pm on cycles with slogans on the banners. We distribute pamphlets and encourage people to use cycle.
How the people of Udaipur have responded to this initiative?
Quite well I must say. The response for Udaipurites is truly appreciable. People have started joining the campaign and you will soon be finding the dream of Udaipur being a cycle city coming true.
How many members are there in your group?
We are about 50 permanent members and over 500 members have joined the campaign till now. This number is increasing and the youth of Udaipur is responding to this initiative very positively.
What are the major problems faced by your group?
People don’t believe in this concept of cycling. The two main reasons which people usually quote are that riding cycle is unsafe and they consider cycling below their dignity. We are working to make cycling a trend and want to change this mental barrier.
How do you expect people to use bicycles in this fast moving world?
Actually we expect a lot from the people of Udaipur but we really do not want them to completely switch to cycles. However, we request them to at least use cycles for their schedule works near to their home. Think, if we start including cycles in our daily routine we can surely achieve the goal of saving at least 15 % of our fuel. Isn’t that’s good for everyone?
What are the other methods by which you are connecting to people?
There are many ways like, we try to inform and connect to as many people we can. We are continuously on media since our inception. Apart from that we have 94.3 My FM as our on air media partner. We also regularly update our blog about our events and strategies.
Here with a noble intention to protect the air around us from getting poisonous, we request you to whole heartedly participate in this group. You can get information about the organization at www.pahalthebeginning.blogspot.com and also ask your queries e-mail at email@example.com