Mumbai : This year, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon saw NGO `groups participating in the event supporting and portraying various stories of individual struggles. Krishna Das, an IX Std student walks 20km back and forth to a government school in Sualkuchi in Assam with an aim to get education. Akshaya Patra foundation is supporting her efforts by providing her with wholesome mid-day meals every day, which give her the strength to make the journey and achieve her goals.
Krishna’s mother helps her father in weaving whereas her brother studies in the 12th Standard. Her parents have high regards for education and have encouraged both their children to continue their studies, in spite of living in a remote village where even the basic necessities are not met. “We have been used to hardships living in the village; walking 10 kms at a stretch has never been an issue. I want to get a good job which promises a regular income, after I finish my studies. Because the (Akshaya Patra) meal is served every school working day, I am not hungry until late evening when dinner is just an hour or two away,” said Das.
Meanwhile, Save The Children India organisation shows a story of extra-ordinary achievement by a differently-abled student, Vipul Jain, who took tiny steps into the sporting field as he found himself enjoying it and excelling at it. In 2013, he ran the Mumbai Marathon to raise awareness about the potential of special children. And two years later, he was ready to participate in an international sports competition, representing India and winning a gold medal in softball.
Dr Subhadra Anand, CEO of Save The Children India said, “Vipul has come a long way from being an under-confident and shy child to a bold and focused young boy with a dream to realize. He is a talented young boy who is determined to excel in sports. His ability and hard work have taken him to an international level and we’re hopeful that his skills will be appreciated in many more contests. This year, Vipul is running, not for himself, but for his best friend so that he too may get the opportunity to realize his full potential in sports.”
On the other hand, 98 patients of the Epilepsy Foundation also participated in the Marathon, of which 13 participants ran the Half Marathon (21 Km) and one runner participated in the Full Marathon (42 KM). The theme this year was to help people recognize great individuals who made history and who had epilepsy.