RIYADH: Scores of cyclists took to the streets of the Saudi capital to pedal for peace as part of a series of global events to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi.
The rally, organized by the Indian Embassy in Riyadh along with the city’s Diplomatic Quarter Authority and the Saudi Cycling Federation, aimed to promote a message of tolerance and harmonious coexistence throughout the world.
The Indian government has lined up an international program of celebrations to commemorate Gandhi’s birth in 1869. The activist, who led India to independence, was described by embassy officials as the embodiment of truth, non-violence and self-obedience.
His ideology also mirrored the Saudi Vision 2030 reform plan, which aims to establish a vibrant society based on peace and harmony.
Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ausaf Sayeed flagged off the “Gandhi Cycle Rally for Peace” in Riyadh, which was attended by a number of Saudi dignitaries, diplomats, Saudi nationals and members of the Indian diaspora.
A Saudi cycle acrobatic team put on a spectacular performance before riders set off around a 6 km route inside the diplomatic quarter.
Speaking at the event, Sayeed stressed the importance of physical activities such as cycling for a healthy lifestyle, which Gandhi exemplified by personal example throughout his life.
The envoy thanked riders for taking part in the rally, and congratulated the Saudi Cycling Federation, Diplomatic Quarter Authority and the Diplomatic Quarter police for working together to make the event a success. All participants received T-shirts and certificates to mark the occasion.
The cycle rally, one of the first events of its kind, reflected growing strategic relations between India and Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited India in February this year to further strengthen the strategic alliance between the two countries which has seen major developments in trade and commercial ties.