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The Cycle Revolution

In the heart of Hauz Khas, spread across 320 acres lies the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Every year a lot of students move in and out of here and the same happens with their demand of cycles. However, with the help of IIT administration and contributions made by the IIT Alumni along with the joint efforts of Greenolution, the recent developments done to balance this demand and supply mismatch have been a success.

A large proportion of students here own cycles owing to the distance between the hostels and the main institute area. The problem, however seems to arise when they graduate and their cycles are left behind; some cycles are abandoned even before the students graduate and move out. These old bicycles occupy a lot of space in cycle stands all around the campus.Moving on, new cycles are also added every year to this inventory and the net result is stuffed cycle stands and total chaos.

Greenolution’s bike sharing concept did play a part to improve this condition; however, something more had to be done. Observing the growing number of unused cycles in the institute, Professor M. Balakrishnan, the Deputy Director of the Strategy and Planning body suggested that these cycles be refurbished and put to use again. With the intervention of Greenolution in the same, under a scheme called ‘OwnByk’, a total of 73 unused and scrap cycles were identified across the institute and subsequently refurbished. The necessary parts were changed and with a little more effort, the cycles which once were seen as junk became usable again. Under this scheme, students were encouraged to own a bike and for the same, new bikes were sold at a price of ₹5000 per cycle and used and refurbished cycles at Rs.1500 per cycle.

The batch of 1967 had generously donated a sum of ₹10 Lakh to IITD for various beneficial schemes and developments. With this in mind, the SAC (Student Affair Council) introduced a modification where students belonging to a humble background could buy subsidized cycles at ₹500 each. The subsidy was provided by the money donated by the benevolent 1967 batch.

The metric as set by the SAC for distinguishing these students were availment of an MCM Scholarship or having a family income below ₹5 lakh per annum. Certificates had to be presented as proof for availing the above relaxations.

Finally when the students were informed about this, they responded in great numbers. There was a huge demand of these cycles which clearly showed how effective and successful the move was. The proposed day of cycles to be sold was declared to be 15th of August, 2018 in two phases- morning and evening; the venue was the Girnar Hostel basement.

However, due to massive demand, with students lining up one hour before commencement, the stocks exhausted in the morning phase itself. A lot of happy students owned cycles that day; they were very grateful to the Batch of 1967, Greenolution and IIT Administration.

The success of OwnByk phase-1 makes everyone expectant for the next phase. It shows how simple ideas when implemented sustainably with proper aid can create a difference in the lives of those around.

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