Fitness icon Milind Soman completed a 1,000-km long bicycle journey from Mumbai to the national capital to raise awareness about air pollution.
The 56-year-old barefoot marathon runner cycled 150-km a day to propose state gas utility GAIL India Ltd’s ‘Hawa Badlo’ campaign that promotes use of cleaner fuel and healthy lifestyle to tackle pollution.
Starting his journey from Mumbai on December 3, he reached the national capital on Sunday evening.
At a function organised by GAIL here to mark the culmination of the run, the supermodel said small changes – such as walking or cycling for short distances need to switch over to cleaner energy sources as EVs and CNG would make a big difference to the world.
Soman, who prefers running over cycling, says he took to the bicycle after four years to test his physical fitness. “Actually it wasn’t tough.”
Every individual has to set physical goals and exercise daily.
“Nature did not create our mind and body for comfort. It is designed for challenges, hard work. If you don’t use it for what it is made for, it will degenerate,” he said.
The Green Ride passed through Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Haryana before reaching the national capital.
“If we eat healthy, live healthy, we won’t have to worry about the environment,” he said. “If we make right choices for individual health, consume as much as necessary, if we chose health less polluting fuels such as electricity, that is going to make a big difference.”
GAIL chairman and managing director Manoj Jain, the firm’s Director (Marketing) E S Ranganathan and Director (Finance) R K Jain were present on the occasion.
GAIL, Jain said, has always been at the forefront of the fight against air pollution.
Starting as a natural gas transporter and marketer, the firm introduced CNG in the national capital more than two decades back to fight air pollution caused by the use of alternate liquid fuels.
Its social media initiative ‘Hawa Badlo’ which strives to raise awareness against the menace has reached netizens over 100 million times.
“As part of its commitment towards raising awareness for sustainable and environmentally friendly lifestyle GAIL partnered with ‘Green Ride – Ek Pehal Swachh Hawa ki Ore’ which is a unique initiative by Milind Soman to raise awareness and encourage people to do their bit towards cleaner air,” Jain said.
Soman said small steps like opting for a carpool, planting a tree, choosing to cycle rather than take a car, and quitting smoking play a huge role in making the environment healthier.
“Will continue to champion for this cause and other important ones through more such initiatives in the future,” he added.