Kohima: Nagaland’s capital Kohima is now fighting to promote the “fitness” culture in the race for a smart city. As Kohima Smart City Development Limited (KSCDL) continues to advocate pedestrian-friendly streets, this time a parking lot in the heart of Kohima City has been converted into an open-air Zumba and aerobics studio-like space.
The open-air Zumba and aerobics session initiated as part of the Streets for People Challenge was organized by the KSCDL in collaboration with the De Operettas Music Institute and took place on Friday morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at the Old NST.
Avelu Ruho, joint CEO of KSCDL, told EastMojo that the training session was held in the hope of “promoting a fitness culture”.
“This is part of the“ Street for People ”challenge and the concept is intended to convey that streets are not just for cars or parking spaces. We should make space for pedestrians and this is a pilot site where we started and hope to expand, ”she said.
A Zumba and aerobics session in Kohima. runs
In November last year, the KSCDL initiated a pop-up event in the same area that converted the usual parking lot into a street space. She said the “pilot site” was chosen as a test design to make it a “permanent pedestrian area”.
“We are faced with a lot of criticism because we are removing this parking lot. But we’re also trying to get the message across that streets are there for pedestrians and citizens too. We have to share our street spaces, ”said the officer.
A parking lot converted into a pedestrian-friendly sidewalk in Kohima
Revealing that the Kohima Smart City has received approval from the Regional Transport Authority, she said, “We look forward to this route being extended. We don’t want to shock citizens by removing all parking spaces, so we’re doing this in phases. Hopefully people will start to appreciate it too. “
She added that the Road For People Challenge began along with Cycles for Change, where Kohima recently made the list of India’s 11 Best Cycling Pioneers and received an award of Rs 1 crore for promoting cycling activities.
When the initiatives emerged in the wake of the pandemic, she added: “We have found that very few people walk and we don’t get enough fresh air or exercise. So we hope that this is a start for the fitness culture in our society. “
Adonu Khamo, 29, who was one of the three fitness trainers who led the session, said, “Exercise is really important. Stretching and warming up in the morning to relieve stress. It keeps us fit and we become more productive as the day progresses. “
In response to the Smart City’s initiative to convert parking spaces into pedestrian zones, she said, “It’s really cool. Instead of parking cars here it will be great to make it accessible to people, walk, have fun, hang out and have a good time. The room is big enough now and it will be very good to continue this idea. “
Although the number of participants was limited, the passers-by, passers-by and the shopkeepers opening their stores all had their eyes fixed on the meeting, which was taking place by the roadside.
“People [who noticed] seemed amazed. Some looked like they wanted to participate. I think more people will come to us and open up next time, ”she said optimistically. The fitness trainer added that open sessions like this one also provide an opportunity to meet more people and overcome shyness.
Sentinaro, a resident of Kohima who also attended the session, said, “I came here to participate as a spectator, but in the end I did participate. I feel very good. At first I was very shy, but when I got into the movement I was confident and happy to be a part of it. “
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De Operettas Music Institute MD Sürhüveyi Testseo recognized the Kohima Smart City team for creating a recreational space for its citizens. “When we were younger we had a lot of space to play. But we don’t have a lot of space in development activities, although a lot of people are more health conscious now, ”he said.
In addition, the music studio in the institute has also set up a fitness studio with training units. He expressed the hope that the Smart City team will organize more such open fitness sessions in the coming days.
As part of the cooperation, the Smart City also made the proposal to Institut De Operettas Music to use the special route in the city of Kohima for its fitness sessions for a month and at the same time make it accessible to the public free of charge.