Chandigarh, Aug 27: Ruling BJP MLA Pawan Kumar Saini pedalled about 110 km from his constituency to the State Assembly in Chandigarh with a message to take up cycling for better health and protection of the environment.
45-year-old Saini reached the Haryana Assembly from his constituency which falls in Kurukshetra district on the opening day of its Monsoon session yesterday along with ten other party workers, all of whom were riding a bicycle.
"We left Kurukshetra at 5:20 AM and reached Chandigarh at 1:45 PM after cycling close to 110 km. When we reached close to the Vidhan Sabha, the security officials stopped us, but they let us go after I informed them that I was a legislator and had also sought permission for ten of my fellow party workers to accompany me till the Assembly's gate," Saini said.
The first-time legislator from Ladwa constituency said "Cycling is not only good for health, but is also environment-friendly."
"Our busy schedule allows us little time for exercise. Since early morning people come to meet you. You can't tell them, I will take an hour for exercise and meet later. For the past few months, I also saw an increase in my blood pressure level. Then I thought why not take up cycling," he said.
"With busy schedule and stressful life, which many people have these days, even people at a young age are suffering from various ailments like heart problems," Saini said. "Our country is witnessing a surge in the number of diabetes patients. I think all of us should take our health as priority.
More and more people should be encouraged to ride a bicycle, at least for nearby distances. Those MLAs and MPs who can ride a bicycle should also make use of it," he said.
He said that he uses bicycle to cover nearby distances in his constituency, which allows him more freedom to interact and greet people along the way. "Even when I am in Chandigarh, I cycle for my meetings, be it to the Vidhan Sabha or the Civil Secretariat. I have kept a bicycle at my MLA flat in Chandigarh and when I have to meet the Chief Minister also, I ride a cycle to reach his office or residence," he said.
Saini said he also encourages youth, mostly school children in his constituency to use bicycle. "I have also started a practice in my constituency to gift a plant sapling to school children on their birthdays," he added.