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Rural marathon held to promote girls' education in India

Sep 02, 2014

The marathon Aao Sath Chale (Come, let us walk together), saw participation of more than 1000 sports loving and spirited people.

New Delhi: Celebrating human spirit and bringing vibrancy to Anupshahar, the Pardada Pardadi Education Society (PPES) hosted the first edition of its rural marathon to promote girl child education and raise awareness on health. The marathon Aao Sath Chale (Come, let us walk together), saw the participation of more than 1000 sports loving and spirited people of which 75 per cent were women.

Arjuna Awardee Sunita Godara, the 1992 Asian Marathon Champion, who also holds the Indian record for running the maximum marathons, was the Chief Guest at the inaugural. Justice (Retd) Sat Paul Bangarh, Punjab & Haryana High Court, and amateur runners from Delhi's Run With Me Foundation also participated in the marathon. Local community responded in a big way by sending their daughters to run.

Anupshahar in Bulandshahar district of Uttar Pradesh is infamous for its poverty, crime and child marriages. Teaching beyond Maths, Science and English, the PPES took to break the cycle of poverty and repression, abuse and neglect of women by working towards improving the quality of life for the rural female children in the district.

PPES has been developing running culture among its students by sending them to various marathons. While 10 girls from its school participated in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in 2012, 25 girls participated in 2013. The rural marathon was meant to ground them well in the home turf also and to promote sports among them further.

The marathon was promoted by Blackberrys, Indian Oil and D&B.

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