Dreams of a better India put elderly, young on track
Sunanda Mokashi's aged eyes peeped out of two holes in her kite-shaped costume - a kati patang that represented an India cut loose by corruption.mumbai Updated: Jan 16, 2012 01:41 IST
Sunanda Mokashi's aged eyes peeped out of two holes in her kite-shaped costume - a kati patang that represented an India cut loose by corruption. "Thanks to corruption, the public is denied quality healthcare, education, and other fundamental rights," said Mokashi, 61, a media professional. "The marathon is a great platform to remind people that the country deserves better."
Mokashi wasn't the only one demanding 'better governance' at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon's Dream Run (6km) on Sunday. Jimmy Gajab, who ran with a contingent of 10 people, showed his support for activist Anna Hazare. "It's a simple philosophy that we're propagating. Just like you need roti, kapda and makaan, (food, clothes and shelter), you need a government that looks after you," said Gajab, who was among many participants donning the trademark white Anna cap, with anti-corruption messages scrawled across them.
Dressed in a silk Chinese robe, with a fake wispy beard, Sushant Dhamapurkar, spoke with an oriental accent to promote India-China unity.
Other causes highlighted by groups included access to education, animal welfare, cancer research, eradication of malnutrition and organ donation.
Vinay Nair, 27, who suffers from haemophilia, ran with other patients and their doctors from the Haemophilia Society Mumbai, to spread awareness about the disease. "There are more than 2,500 haemophiliacs in Maharashtra alone. Our medicines are very expensive. We'd like the government to reconsider the price points for the medicine and make them more accessible," he said.
Six-year-old Abhish Kulkarni was among the youngest to walk the route. "I walked last year as well. I love the atmosphere here - it's so colourful and everyone's having fun. I'll be back next year too," he added.