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Dhanmodi Kochikantha High School students raise voice to ensure active & safe route to school

Unplanned and rapid urbanization is having a very negative impact on the environment and health. The risk of non-communicable diseases among urban dwellers is increasing at an alarming rate. Children are at greater risk especially in the city due to lack of field-park-public premises and lack of adequate physical activity. Between the ages of 11 and 17, about 80 percent of the world's children are not physically fit. It is possible to meet the physical needs of the students by walking to school. As well as reducing the use of mechanical vehicles by increasing the number of trips on foot, air pollution and noise pollution will be significantly reduced. In addition to reducing the number of non-communicable diseases caused by pollution, it is also possible to prevent climate disasters. Despite the lack of safe and comfortable environment for walking, about 95% of the students of Dhanmondi Kachikantha High School travel to school on foot. All the residents of the area will benefit if the concerned authorities including the city corporation ensure a safe and comfortable environment for walking to school. This was stated by the speakers at the awareness program titled "We want safe environment for walking in area based schools to reduce non-communicable diseases" in front of Kachikantha High School on Thursday, November 18, 2021 at 11:30 AM.

Naima Akhter, Project Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust speaking on the occasion and said that according to the World Health Organization, it is necessary to walk at least 30 minutes every day to stay healthy. Walking to school can be an easy solution to meet the physical labor needs of students. But due to broken roads, water logging, excessive speed of vehicles, horns, etc., students and parents are discouraged from walking to school. Concerned partners, including the City Corporation, should make efforts to ensure that students walk to school.

Ziaur Rahman, senior project officer at Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, said a survey of five schools in the Rayerbazar area found that most students in the area walk to school, but do not have a proper walking environment. Not all roads in the area are the same. Considering the width of the road and its surroundings, some roads are reserved for pedestrian traffic only, some for both pedestrian and vehicular traffic, some roads are closed for a certain period of time and some pedestrians and non-mechanized vehicles are allowed to walk will be comfortable.

HM Nurul Islam, Headmaster of Dhanmondi Kachikantha School said, “We encourage the students of our school to walk. This saves money as well as physical well-being and reduces environmental pollution. The participation of people from all walks of life is required to maintain a good walking environment in the area. Locals, teachers and students should come forward in this regard. In order to improve the walking environment of Dhaka city, it is necessary to coordinate among various organizations.

Also present on the occasion were officials of Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, teachers and students of Dhanmondi Kachikantha School.