During lockdown, a large section of Guwahatians were seen embracing cycling in their daily lives, be it as a mode of transport or just to take care of their health. With the vision of making Guwahati a cycling and walking friendly city by 2030, a concerned group of individuals came forward and constituted Guwahati Active Mobility Forum (GAMOF).
GAMOF’s objectives will be to promote cycling as a safe, accessible, aspirational mode of transport, while also working towards making Guwahati safe for walking. The forum plans to act as an interest, pressure, active citizens group and a civil society organisation to create awareness for the need of safe cycling and walking infrastructure in the city.
“We have a dedicated team comprising of bicycle councillors and bicycle ambassadors, who will work under the leadership of the Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati for the purpose. We also have an esteemed panel of advisors and mentors to advise us on our mission,” said Arshel Akhter, the Bicycle Mayor of Guwahati.
The Bicycle Councillors are a team of change-makers who will take up leadership roles at the ward level to promote cycling among all sections of the society. It is an honorary, voluntary and non-political position given by BYCS (Netherlands) to an individual for tenure of two years.
Supporting the Bicycle Councillors will be a team of Bicycle Ambassadors who also have been selected from the wards. They were selected by a nine-member panel consisting of academicians, entrepreneurs, govt. employees and activists from Guwahati. Guwahati is also the third city after Bengaluru and Mumbai to have Bicycle Councillors.
To create awareness for the same, GAMOF will be regularly organising activities like open streets, cycle rides and races, road safety campaigns and workshops at different parts of the city.