Raahgiri Day is a citizen initiative to reclaim the streets for the people, if only
for a couple of hours every Sunday. Raahgiri initiative has been organised by
Delhi Police and New Delhi Municipal Council & with the collaboration of
EMBARQ India. It is supported by The Times of India. It all started in
November, 2013 in Gurgaon which has now spread their wings till the heart of
Delhi in Connaught Place on 13 July, 2014.
Energies are infectious – of places and of people. The cheerful and colourful
ambience of people mingling, compliments the white architecture of
Connaught Place. There is something magical about seeing thousands of
people where they come in hope to collect and gain experience from the
cultured driven and creative souls. People have found the new place to
celebrate their new found freedom to walk, sing, dance and play on the
streets, as streets are closed for all the motor vehicles around the area.
Thousands leave their homes at sunrise to participate in Raahgiri which is also
“The People’s Movement” that literally translates to the rights to the road- to
reclaim the street for pedestrians. These healthy practices have helped people
to regain some composures and calmness with the coolness of morning dews
to refresh themselves from this hectic and stressful world of competitions. As
the pollution level have been daring the health of a person to compete, now
people have got a weapon against this, whether it’s just for couple of hours
but it truly worth it.
In Delhi, it happens over the 2.5km stretch of Connaught Place’s Inner Circle at
the heart of Delhi, which is closed off to all vehicles for 3hours. The stages
have been set for jogging, cycling, dancing, skating and exercising. Children
play tag sports like ‘Kho-Kho’ and ‘Pakdam Pakdai’. Girls and Boys give out free
hugs. Musicians plug at their guitars. People come in tow to have fun doing
everything from Yoga to Zumba to play football, cricket and badminton. This is
Delhi’s biggest party and everyone is invited to the morning bash.
With event seeing increasing attendance and attention each week, the New
Delhi Municipal Cooperation and Delhi Police are looking for further
expansion with area, security and the facilities. By taking small steps like these
someday New Delhi will soon reclaim street for people and every person with
pride and without hesitation could quote the famous dialogue from the movie
Singham “Yeh mera sehar hai aur mai yahan ka Baji Rao Singham/ Jai Kant
Sikare” whichever suits fine to a person.
Expert in this field of Sustainable Transport & Urban Development joined
representatives from India and around the world (including Delhi, Mumbai,
Ahmadabad, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Hyderabad in India as well as cities
in Netherlands, Australia, Germany and Canada) have decided to explore what
active transport and street for people could do for their cities.