tv View Change LINKTV March 9, 2016 6:00am-7:01am PST
>> for about a couple of years, we only focused on adult women and literacy for them. and i noticed many of the girls who came to the class were very, very young girls with a mangalsutra, which is a gold and black beaded necklace around their necks, which in india is a symbol of matrimony. and they had babies on their
>> what i find so particular about it is that it's so simple. it's measurable. something that we take for granted, and in other areas of the world is something that changes lives. one bike. it's $134 per bike. and i know that that bike is going to go somewhere. it's going to make--it's going to change the life of not only
>> in many villages, there were only schools till seventh grade. there were no high schools. so we worked in ten villages at that point of time, and there were only three high schools. so then i asked, you know, i asked the parents, the mothers, well, what happens to the boys? how do you send the boys to school? and they said, well, we give them bicycles. and i said, well, what about the girls? and they said, oh, no, it's a waste of money to give a bicycle to a girl if she's going to turn
it's a pretty amazing thing to have this aggressive male come with his bike and say, hey, my bike needs to be repaired. my wheel is going like ts... right. and then everyone looks at him, they say, ok, we'll fix it for you. and then they take the wheel off and give it to miriam. and the guy's expression is like, what? this woman, this disabled woman is going to true my wheel? and what ends up happening
is that she trues his wheel for him. you know, and sometimes there are men sitting there just watching as miriam is repairing their wheel, something that they can't do themself. and there's this female, physically disabled mechanic fixing their wheel for this person. i know that her life has changed by it. i know that she now sees herself in the world as an influential person. she sees herself as having skills that other people don't have that are valuable to her community and even to the world. she sees herself as now representing other physically disabled people who were in her position before without work, and in a position now to advocate for them and, you know, for recognition of the enormous amount of unemployed physically disabled people in ghana.
and those folks will tend to replace bikes every few years. and you have the die hard enviro bike commuters. but that group is not just the classic image that we have of the bicycle commuter. you know, the white, well-educated cyclist who's decided to simplify their life and to live environmentally and thus they're going to bike. santa barbara, at least half of that five percent of people getting around by bike are working class folks who rely on that bike probably not necessarily out of choice. because people ride whatever they can, you know? and again, that's half of our active bike commuting population. and so, our feeling at bico centro as kind of the group of founders was that that group wasn't being
overpowering solutions. we want to have electricity. well, let's dig up that mountai an just like make eltricity. and we'll just run railroad cars and trucks. and like all we do is overpower things or neglect things. >> [speaking native language] >> the majority of trips that people need to take in their lives, if you're in guatemala or ghana or in boston, are bikeable. >> if we have a problem with transportation, it's when we wake up in the morning, you look at the sky and we say, if it's cloudy, do we go by car or we take the bike?
the transportation story or transportation problem in africa is totally different. they don't have the choice. they either have to walk-- the kids have to walk 2 to 3 hours to school and from school, or caregivers have to walk all day long. in the best circumstances, they can see maybe two or three patients. it's a completely different view on what a bike can do. we don't see the use of a bike other than...we have the choice. >> having a bicycle and being able to access education can have such a huge impact on, you know, aspirational levels, on educational levels, on quality of life. >> that bicycle is increasing their mobility. it's increasing their ability to go places.
it's broadening their scope of their life, of whatesources ey can cess. >> and bikes have been part of my life naturally for always. and i've never thought about not having a bike. what a bike can do...to me it just makes too much sense. and i couldn't afford myself to say i'm not part of this. >> it is a comprehensive development tool. development happens for an entire country starts with one person. and if every single person in that country begins to become empowered and begins to have access to resources, the entire country's going to develop.