Sarika Panda Bhatt, The Force behind Raahgiri

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Sarika Panda Bhatt, an Associate Director at Nagarro, is co-founder of Raahgiri Day, India’s longest-running urban movement. She is a highly accomplished architect and urban planner working in the fields of urban developments, transport, environment, and architecture.

Sarika hails from a small town in Kalahandi district of Odisha and completed her schooling from Bhawani Patna. She pursued her Architecture at Bhubaneshwar and then at the School of Planning and Architecture at New Delhi. She has indeed broken barriers moving from her early days in the small town to holding a top-notch corporate profile.

She developed the unique and exceptionally successful concept of Raahgiri which is continuously duplicating and has reached over 70 big and small cities of India. She also holds the chair as a trustee in the Raahgiri Foundation.

Raahgiri Day, India’s first sustained car-free citizen initiative, began in Gurgaon on Nov 17, 2013. The movement was conceptualised by the Raahgiri Foundation. It started by cordoning off 4.5 kilometers of streets around DLF 4 and Galleria Road in Gurgaon every Sunday morning for few hours. The movement brought out a huge turnout of people from all walks of life every week on the streets. The authorities joined hands, being compelled to change their mindset to understand importance of Safe Streets for all.

This movement of Raahgiri Day has been rotating across Gurgaon over the last 6 years in various locations, spreading the word of sustainable living and minimal transport vehicles on the roads. Last year onwards Raahgiri Night began in select market places in Gurgaon making them vehicle-free zone once a week.

Sarika leads the non-motorised transport work and India Vision Zero work in Haryana and Punjab that looks at road safety of vulnerable road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists. Last year, Sarika was judged as one of 40 most remarkable women in the world who are working in the transport sector by TUMI Germany. She was also selected as the Bicycle Mayor of Gurugram by BYCS Netherlands. 

Sarika truly inspires us to follow her footsteps and build our lives along her guided path of sustainable and eco-friendly living.

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