Soldierathon: Get ready for the run that celebrates the heroes of our nation
Show your gratitude to the armed forces by participating in the first edition of the Soldierathon event that will be held on March 11 in the Capital.
We can never thank our soldiers enough for their selfless sacrifice towards the nation. Here’s your chance to honour the armed forces, in the first edition of a special marathon—Soldierathon, powered by Hindustan Times, this Sunday.
The marathon, with over 6000 participants, includes runners, families of armed forces personnel and martyrs, and schoolchildren from Army and Naval schools across Delhi. It is being organised in commemoration of armed forces martyrs, in the half-marathon, 10 km, 5km, 3km, and wheelchair categories. The proceeds from the event will be donated to Indian Army’s Artificial Limb Centre (ALC), for specially abled/wounded soldiers to help them acquire state-of-the-art prosthesis at the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Pune, and for the education of martyrs’ children.
The brain behind the event, Major Surendra Poonia, President Awardee – Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM), says he hopes to bring people closer to the armed forces through the marathon. Poonia shares that the event was conceptualised under the guidance of former President of India, the late APJ Abdul Kalam.
“I have participated in many operations where I have seen my fellow officers and brothers die. Dr Kalam had once said ‘Jo aadmi lad raha tha uski duty hai ki woh ladey’, and we should be proud of the person. Dr Kalam supported education and he urged me to think about the soldier’s family, and the future of their children,” he says. The marathon aims to create a positive environment in the country where the citizens, especially the youth is inspired and made aware of the great sacrifices made by our bravehearts.
“This is for the first time that such a marathon is happening and I am lucky to be part of it,” says Kargil war veteran and India’s first blade runner, Major DP Singh. “We owe a lot to our soldiers. It’s important to give respect to them in whatever way we can. Soldierathon is for all the soldiers...those that are among us and those that have sacrificed for the country. I’ll try and do a half marathon,” he says. Mahendra Malik from Rajasthan, will run in honour of his brother and Captain Sajjan Malik, Kirti Chakra, 10 Para (Special Forces), martyred in Kashmir fighting terrorists.
Other ambassadors who will grace the event include Hon Capt Bana Singh, Param Vir Chakra, Param Vir Chakra Sub Major Yogendra Yadav (Kargil War), Param Vir Chakra Sub Sanjay Singh (Kargil War), Gautam Gambhir, cricketer, and Fever 104 Bharat Positive campaign ambassador and Captain Shalini Singh, wife of Kirti Chakra recipient, Major Avinash Singh Bhadauria.
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