In honor of Guru Nanak Dev, founder of the Sikh faith, the Punjab police has decided to mark his 550th birth anniversary by dedicating the entire year to activities for pedestrians and cyclists safety. The preparations across the world have already started in the run-up to first Sikh Guru’s 550th birth anniversary next year.
Punjab police will be writing to the state government to declare Guru Nanak’s birthday as ‘Pedestrian Day’, said Additional Director General of police (ADGP) traffic Sharad Satya Chauhan.
“Guru Nanak was himself a pedestrian throughout his life. The entire year in the run-up to his 550th birth anniversary next year will be dedicated to activities for pedestrians and cyclists safety. Also, Punjab police will be writing to the state government to declare his birthday as Pedestrian Day. We are expecting that they will take it up further with the central government who can further take it up with the United Nations (UN) so that the day can be dedicated to pedestrians on lines of World Yoga Day and other days,” Chauhan said.
Police have also roped in Guru Ramdas School of Planning at Guru Nanak Dev University in Amritsar, which is assisting the traffic wing of Punjab police in preparing an action plan on improving traffic conditions to make it safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Suresh Arora said, “Punjab Police through our traffic wing will start the 550th birth year celebration of the divine saint by focussing on pedestrian safety and this will be our way to the celebration of Gurpurab by taking inspiration from his life. Directly, we will create awareness among masses through seminars and awareness camps towards creating respecting for pedestrian and their safety. We will do interdepartmental coordination to improve their safety through better infrastructure, especially in urban areas.”
ADGP Chauhan added that since Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) Amritsar specialises in non-motorized modes of transport and other aspects of pedestrian safety, they have been roped in and their students will help in executing the plan in the state. A special action plan for pedestrian safety in Smart Cities- Jalandhar, Amritsar and Ludhiana- has also been called from them for which the first meeting has already taken place and work has started.
Guru Nanak Dev is said to have travelled at least 28,000 kilometers on foot in his lifetime and is considered as the world’s most notable and revered pedestrian.
On Guru Nanak’s 548th birth anniversary, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his greetings had said that Guru Nanak Dev travelled on foot to spread the message of love and peace and travelled to as far as Baghdad, Mecca, Turkey, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Assam on foot.