In collaboration with The Heritage School, Duplays.com, EMBARQ and Pedalyatri, iamgurgaon launched Raahgiri as a weekly event that aims to reclaim the streets of our cities as social hubs. It became a day for people of all ages to come together and reconnect with their community and the outdoors in a meaningful way.
The word "raahgiri" brings together two ideas - "raah" which means a path or way, and "giri" which stands for a journey towards a final goal. The initiative was driven by the idea to promote a car-free lifestyle that is beneficial to the people and the environment. It is a glimpse of what life could be if we act more responsibly towards our streets and respect safety regulations. It is a way to address the issues of insane traffic, chaos and pollution in our cities and to create a healthier and more sustainable living environment for all.
Raahgiri Day is an initiative that was first proposed by students of The Heritage School as part of their study “How Bike Friendly is Gurgaon”. The goal of the programme was to create a pedestrian and cycling-friendly infrastructure in the city, as well as safer roads for everyone. The streets identified for Raahgiri Day were cordoned off to motorised transport, encouraging people to walk, cycle or skate. The event also provided a platform for community leisure activities like street games, street dancing, and fitness classes like yoga, aerobics, and Zumba.
Raahgiri Day was led and organised by Gurgaon city administrators, including the Police Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner, and the Joint Commissioner of Traffic, as well as schools, resident welfare associations, NGOs, industry associations, active recreation groups, and active citizens. The events were held between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. on all Sundays. The programme was first piloted in Gurgaon, but the active participation from citizens, authorities, and media made it a success and it was adopted by more than 70 other cities in 18 states within 4.5 years.