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Carfree Street Events in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Debra Efroymson

20 mrt. 2023

Carfree Street Events resume in Dhaka after COVID

Prior to COVID-19, there were three regular carfree street events in Dhaka, created or promoted by Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust. Unfortunately two of the regular events were stopped during COVID-19 and have not been restarted. WBB Trust has, however, started a new event in the B-Block of Mohammadpur Babar Road area in the capital as of 22 January 2023.

The road turns into a carfree zone every Saturday from 3:00 to 5:00 pm and various sports such as chess, ludo, carrom, jump rope, badminton, painting, and handicrafts are being organised there.

At the launch, speakers said that children’s physical and mental health development is hindered due to lack of sufficient opportunities for outdoor play in Dhaka city. This problem can be solved by creating opportunities for sports and socialization by controlling traffic on less busy roads within the area.

“We believe that the car-free road in B-Block of Mohammadpur Babar Road will play a vital role in the sports and socialization of the residents living in the area,” they said.

HealthBridge Foundation of Canada, Chayatal Bangladesh and Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust jointly arranged the event with the support of Ward No. 32 of DNCC.

In his speech as the chief guest, Syed Hasan Noor Islam Rashtan said that if children get the opportunity to play, their brains will be activated and develop properly. Carfree road has created sports opportunities close to home, which will play a vital role in the sports and socialization of the local residents. “If this program is successful, we will organise carfree roads in other roads of the ward,” he added.

In her presidential speech, Gaous Pearee said that roads are most important public space. But there is no way to understand the excess of private cars. “We want to restore people’s rights to roads by organising carfree roads. Our city does not have enough opportunities for children to play. Such activities will contribute to the development of children and develop leadership in them. We call upon local ward councilors to organize ward-wise carfree roads for the welfare of future generations,” she said.

Ziaur Rahman said that in 2016, World Private Car Free Day was officially celebrated in Bangladesh for the first time under the initiative of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority.

“We are working to create area-based socialization opportunities as well as to increase awareness on private vehicle control considering the various disadvantages of private vehicles, such as traffic jams, pollution and accidents,” he added.

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