Cricketer-turned-politician Laxmi Ratan Shukla, on Tuesday, cycled 110 kilometres from Howrah to the Sunderbans in West Bengal to raise awareness about pollution.

The former Bengal cricketer, who has featured for India in three One Day Internationals (ODI) back in 1999, took the initiative called “Dil Se’ to make people aware about the growing risk of pollution surrounding them.

On his journey, Shukla also visited some schools where he interacted with the students and others to make them aware of the different steps that are required to be taken to tackle the increasing level of pollution.

According to Shukla, pollution is the biggest concern of the current times. Thus instead of opting for a normal rally with motor-bikes and cars, he chose to cycle his way in the attempt to raise awareness about the issue.

Before flagging off the rally, the 38-year-old delivered a short speech to a crowd that had gathered in Howrah.

Asking the people to reduce their usage of petroleum and plastic, he said, “Just think about our kids, do you want to give them a polluted India and Bengal or a pollution-free India and Bengal.”

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLA from Howrah North constituency also earned praises from Indian cricketer Suresh Raina.

Hailing the initiative, Raina said in his congratulatory video, “Plant as many trees as possible. It will be good for our surroundings, good for our youths and for our lives as well.”

Shukla has captained Bengal in domestic cricket for various seasons and was often regarded as the best all-rounder who failed to forge an international career. In Bengal’s first Vijay Hazare Trophy win in 2012 under Sourav Ganguly, Shukla played the pivotal role

He shone with his all-round performance and also scored an unbeaten century in the final against Mumbai to help Bengal chase the winning total after taking a four-for with the ball.