The sixth and the concluding event under 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' ‘Avartan Rally’, hosted by DDA on Sunday, March 06, 2022, at Asita West saw huge participation by cyclists from V4A Cycling and Running Club, Riverside Running and Cycling Club, Cyclopaths, Let’s C cycling groups and DDA officers.
An approximately 9 km long cycle route was chosen to allow the cyclists to cycle amidst the restored floodplains different from the urban greens and along Raj Ghat and other memorials of national importance. The event turned out to be a great success as it saw participation from 80-100 cyclists who enjoyed cycling on off-road sites amongst natural surroundings.
The site for cycling - ‘Asita West’ is one of the 10 projects of the Restoration and Rejuvenation Project by DDA and also the first ones to be taken up for restoration. Located on the western bank, the place has derived its name from ‘Asita’ which is another name for River Yamuna in ancient texts and literature which also means ‘the start’.
Delhi Development Authority, under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, celebrated 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav' to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of India's Independence from February 19, 2022, to March 6 2022. A series of six events were organized themed around ‘Rejuvenation of River Yamuna Floodplains’ that brought people from different sections of the society together including students from schools and colleges, NGOs, nature enthusiasts, Yog-sadhaks and cyclists groups.
The events included Azadi Darshan - a sand art event cum workshop, nature walk, an awareness programme on the role of biodiversity parks and impact of climate change, Swachhta Abhiyaan- a cleanliness drive at Qudsia Ghat, Yogabhyas – a yoga session for rejuvenation of body, mind and soul and finally, Avartan Rally- cycling in and around the floodplains of River Yamuna.
Delhi Development Authority has been working on the rejuvenation and restoration of the floodplains for some years. According to them, planning these events in the Yamuna floodplains was an initial step towards reviving the ancient connection of the river with its people. This was a great way of giving back to the community by encouraging them to come and take part in these nature-oriented activities near the river. The participants were given seeds collected from native trees from DDA parks as a token gift.