Chennai-based company gifts its workforce a bicycle

All 142 workers at Kothari Petrochemicals factory in Manali to receive it; management wants staff to step on the pedals once a week

All 142 workers at Kothari Petrochemicals factory in Manali to receive it; management wants staff to step on the pedals once a week

When fuel prices rise, workers at the Kothari Petrochemicals plant in Manali could not have asked for a better gift from their employer. The company recently surprised its employees by gifting them each with a bicycle.

The message was loud and clear: stay fit and do your bit for the environment.

The factory has 142 employees on the roll, and from those at the leadership level to those in attendance all get the same bike – a Hercules.

“We have already distributed 100 bikes and are waiting for the next batch,” said V Murugeswaran, senior manager (human resources and admin), Kothari Petrochemicals, adding that the bikes were distributed at an event held to mark National Security Day .

The company has been promoting green modes of transport among its staff for several years now. Last year, as part of World Environment Day, the company organized a bicycle rally to encourage employees to pedal to work.

“We only had a few employees who came to work by bicycle, and then we thought, why not all give a bicycle as a gift,” says Murugeswaran.

A majority of the employees live in and around Manali and depend either on their own transport or company vehicles.

By providing them with such an incentive, management is confident that some employees will make the switch.

Suresh Pachyappan from the production department is one of them. The day after taking the gift home, Suresh started cycling to work. “I’m staying in Madhavaram, about 4.5 km from my workplace. Cycling to work takes me twice as much time as I used to on a bike, but I see a lot of benefits in this. I can already see huge savings on my fuel budget,” says Suresh.

The management hopes that employees will inspire each other to cycle to work. “We plan to slowly start asking employees to come to work once a week, maybe on a set day, and then extend that to the other days,” Murugeswaran said. “We are not going to cut down the switch bus to force them to switch to the bicycle, the realization has to come naturally.”

How good is the road infrastructure nearby for staff to cycle to work?

Suresh says: “If more people cycle to work, we could push the authorities to improve road infrastructure and we could even ask for a separate lane.”

SOURCE : www.thehindu.com

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