Bhopal: The city with a civic conscience. For a change, the train reached almost on time. It was not as cold as we imagined it to be. The station was surprisingly clean. That was three good omens before we started the run.
The run was flagged off by the young RIM Samaj Shilpis. They also joined us on the route. Starting from the New Market, we headed towards Lower Lake and then the Upper Lake, better known as Bhoj Taal now. Within a km into the run, we saw that the walls on either side of the road were painted on with wall paintings- street art. These stretched almost a couple of kms. The pavement was clean. The street art had some social messages as well.
Many municipal workers were cleaning the roads and pavements diligently on both the sides. The full pavement on the upper lake area was lined up with dustbins at short distances. Some painters were repainting the walls and pavements.
The route was scenic. The expansive Bhojtaal loomed large over the city. It provides drinking water to the town and water looked quite clean compared to many other city lakes in different parts of the country. We enjoyed the scenery along the way and clicked multiple pictures. Everyone was ecstatic about running on this beautiful stretch. This city surely deserves a marathon.
One nice thing which struck us was the absence of road rage. Traffic was smooth even during the busy hours of the day, and that too on a Monday.
People patiently gave us the right of way and waited for us to cross the road. Surprisingly we did not seem to attract any attention, although the city does not have many runners. Some encouraged us, others just let us be.
Another great thing about the city was that there was no stink; a big change from the last 4 days where we had to bear the worst in terms of garbage.
Overall it appears that Bhopal city has a civic conscience and is well and truly awakened, Here is wishing more cities and villages like Bhopal.
— Brijesh Gajera (from the Bhopal Railway Station)