Ditching “busy” Sunday mornings of Nagpurkars will now by “buzz-y”! And ‘Happy Streets’ — an event organized by The Times of India – is going to be the reason behind it. Yes, TOI’s ‘Happy Streets’ initiative is back and how!
Started first in the year 2015, the month of March saw a couple of Sundays when Nagpurkars gave their sleep a boot and gathered on the streets of Dharampeth. TOI’s initiative was kicked off keeping in mind the concept that ‘citizens should be able to reclaim the roads for activities other than driving.’
For many, the three hours which spanned from 6am to 9am were of sheer fun and frolic. Art enthusiasts, musicians, folks with quirky skills, etc would corner up and display their dexterity. Attendees were seen both joining them and participating or simply watch them in marvel.
Despite being well received, the ‘Happy Streets’ had to be discontinued in the same year after the complaints made by the residents in the area. But it is now after almost four years that the ‘Happy Streets’ are set to make a comeback from January 20.
Naina Gill, who attended the first Happy Street in March 2015, is ecstatic about the comeback. “It was the first time something like that happened in Nagpur. I was overwhelmed to see people of all age groups come down on the streets on a Sunday morning to just have fun,” she said.
“I was so glad that long-forgotten games of our childhood days were also included. I was particularly fascinated by the corner where a game of kanche (marbles) was being played. I immediately found myself joining in for a round,” says Sayli Rao, a business development professional.
Happy Streets endorses outdoor activities and physical activities. It also encourages unknown people to come together in good spirit and enjoy the activities on the streets.
Not just recreationally, but health wise also the event was a hit. “There used to be Zumba space in front of the TOI building. My friends and I being health freaks, we would always start our Sunday from that point. After Zumba, we’d play our own games like ice-water, human-chain, etc. Physical activities these in the early hours of morning is immensely beneficial and I’m happy to see TOI take a step towards it,” says Dr. Pallavi Kothe.
It is not just sports which is the primary focus of ‘Happy Streets’. It also brings together various artists for the ones who are art-inclined. From singers to musicians to painters to sketch artists, the streets have got ‘em all.
Speaking to TOI, classical vocalist Chitra Modak said, “The environment which builds when such a large audience is present to hear different artists is unique. I loved performing there and I am happy that it is being revived.”
Agreeing with Chitra was Kishor Ingle, a faculty at government arts college. “We artists are always looking for opportunities for painting novel images. This activity with its vibrant and diverse crowd provides artists like us a wonderful platform which is difficult to find anywhere else,” he said.
Title image: bcmtouring