Mountain biking volunteers on sustainability mission in H.P

Shimla: Volunteers accompanying over 70 intrepid riders from 17 nations will inform villagers in Himachal Pradesh en route the 15th Hero MTB Himalaya race on issues like clean environment and energy, rainwater harvesting, promoting recycling, sustainable development and quality education, event organizers said on Tuesday. A 10-member team comprises volunteers from India, Germany, Croatia and Poland, and will visit 26 schools during the week-long trip under the Mission SMILE outreach programme.

Two experts from The Energy Research Institute are educating school children and villagers on tapping solar energy,” Mohit Sood, President of the Himalayan Adventure Sports and Tourism Promotion Association the local¬†club that organises the MTB (mountain bike) Himalaya rally every year, told IANS. He said the volunteers visited a local school in Gadagushaini on Monday and taught the students and locals about the importance of recycling and rainwater harvesting.

Rally organisers also engage riders for interactions with students in schools along the race route with an aim to enlighten them about the benefits of cycling and issues related to personal hygiene. “We are identifying at least five villages en route the rally where a rainwater harvesting structure each will be set up with an expenditure of Rs 60,000 by involving local villagers,” Sood said.