Participants in the Cycle for Education event pass through Seaview on Sunday.
Participants in the Cycle for Education event pass through Seaview on Sunday.

KARACHI: More than 300 cyclists belonging to different cycling groups of the city joined forces for a good cause, the ‘Cycle for Education’ ride, on Sunday morning from Seaview to Port Grand.

The event was organised by the Developments in Literacy (DIL) Karachi chapter. DIL is an organisation that supports the education of children, especially of girls.

For more than 25 years DIL, established by overseas Pakistanis, has developed, nurtured, supported literacy, particularly in rural Pakistan, with meticulous and well-selected teaching and training staff. High academic standards of curriculum are in place in all of the DIL schools. They have chapters all over the globe with 135 schools of which 21 are working in and around Karachi’s marginalised communities.

There were cyclists of all ages gathering at the Abdul Sattar Edhi Avenue around 6:30am. All were happy to start early before the sun came up and it became very hot. They belonged to local cycling groups, including Critical Mass Karachi (CMK), Cycologists, Docs on Wheels, ECKO Riders from Garden East, etc.

Cyclists of all ages at Seaview. — Photos by author
Cyclists of all ages at Seaview. — Photos by author

Abdul Bari Shaikh, an individual rider, said he learned about the ride from Facebook. “I have only recently started cycling but wanted to be part of this good cause,” he told Dawn.

Ahmed Ali, whose bike had particularly thin tyres, explained a bit about the various kinds of bicycles. “Those with thin tyres are road bikes, those with thicker tyres are known as hybrid bikes and those with fat tyres are mountain bikes,” he said.

Seven-year-old Essa and 11-year-old Eshal were accompanied by their parents Anam and Naveed Balagam. The family arrived with four bikes on their car rack. More young riders included another seven-year-old Samil who was there with his dad Salman Chagani.

There was also eight-year-old Pinar with her father Sardar Syed. The latter two families had arrived from Garden East on their bicycles and were rearing to ride again till Port Grand.

Dr Dinaz Gandhi, a surgeon, had also pedalled all the way from DHA Phase I. There was Huma Azhar, who said that she was into gymming for the most of her life, but then she switched to cycling during the pandemic lockdowns.

Iqbal Shafi, one of the senior cyclists there, said he had made cycling part of his lifestyle. “I never use a car,” he said.

Cyclists from different cycling groups at Seaview.
Cyclists from different cycling groups at Seaview.

After a nice ride, the cycling enthusiasts stopped at Port Grand for a hearty breakfast. They also met there well-known personalities from the media and showbiz industry.

Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas, actors Sajid Hasan and Azra Mohyeddin greeted them along with DIL team. They highlighted the dire need of education in the country and how organisations such as DIL stay focused and continue to grow despite all odds.

Published in Dawn, February 21st, 2022

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