Visually challenged athletes run 150km for social cause

Noble initiative
Last Updated 24 January 2019, 17:14 IST

India’s first visually-impaired team of athletes who completed the full marathon of 42.2 kilometres, recently, has taken up another challenge for a social cause, by participating in 150 km ultra-marathon from Mysuru to Bengaluru.

The team, comprising six runners, Mala Kolkar, 20, Nandeesha Janardan, 22, N D Sunitha, 21, Renuka Rajput, 19, N Kavya, 19, and Ajay Eranna, 24, has commenced their journey on Wednesday and is likely to complete the event on Friday in Bengaluru. The team members are accompanied by their respective guides – Venkatesh Narasimhamurthy, N V Rajesh, Bhumika Patel, Bhadresh Shivashankar, Nandish Kumar and Sachin Tiptur.

The runners have been coached by Bhumika Patel, an accomplished marathoner. The team recently made a record of becoming India’s first visually-impaired team to complete a full marathon of 42.2 km in Bengaluru. Sunitha emerged as the first Indian visually-impaired girl to complete a full marathon.

Member of the erstwhile royal family of Mysuru Pramoda Devi Wadiyar flagged off the marathon at Mysuru Palace’s Balarama Gate. The event is organised by Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, in association with Pinkathon.

To create awareness

The run aims at motivating normal as well as special people about achieving successes in life, health and fitness. To create awareness on the importance of casting vote. According to the members of the trust, the team members will meet several people, including members of organisations and specially-abled persons and hold interactions with them on issues.

The team members will meet people in Mandya, Maddur, Ramnagara and Bidadi. On January 25, on the occasion of ‘National Voters’ Day’, the runners will join a bike rally in Bengaluru and create awareness among the people about the importance of their vote.

“Samarthanam Trust inspires the beneficiaries to defy all odds despite impairments. With the mentorship of Samarthanam and training from able coaches, our visually-impaired runners have taken on this challenge to run the 150 km marathon and defy all odds,” said the organisers, adding that the runners have embarked on the historic run, supporting the cause of inclusion for the disabled.

The run also intends to celebrates the spirit of health and well-being and the team will run, demonstrating heroic patriotism in honor of the birthday of freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose, they said.

(Published 24 January 2019, 16:40 IST)

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