‘Pardada Pardadi Half Marathon’: 140 saree-clad women run for the cause of girl child’s educationUpdated: Dec 01, 2019 19:17 IST
Braving the December early morning chill, more than 3,000 runners participated in the ‘Pardada Pardadi rural half marathon 2019’ in Anupshahr, Bulandshahr district of UP, on Sunday. The sixth edition of the event saw the maximum number of participants, said the organisers.
Held in support of the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, the run was conducted under three categories --half marathon (21km), mini marathon (10 km) and a short run of 5 km.
“The run started at 5 am from the Pardada Pardadi School, Anupshahr, and covered the scenic route of the Aligarh bypass,” said a member of the organising committee.
The highlight of this year’s half marathon was participation of over 140 members of various self help groups who ran in sarees to spread the message that running or sports was not a male domain and women’s gender or their attire weren’t a barrier in excelling in these activities.
Yoga and wellness expert Tanya Agarwal was the chief guest and flagged off the event.
Virendra Sam Singh, founder of Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES), said, “All the participants were thrilled and many shared their experiences with us. When we started this event in 2014, it was to spread a message. Now, it has become a celebration for the cause of the girl child’s education.”
Renuka, CEO of PPES, said, “This is more than just a run for girls / women. It is an opportunity to show the world that no restrictions can be placed on women because of their gender.”
Pardada Pardadi Educational Society is a non-profit, non-government organisation working in Anupshahr, Bulandshahr district, since 2000. It has a vision to create a society where rural women have an equal share as men in contributing to the growth of the nation.
To empower rural girls from the most disadvantaged communities, PPES provides them with free, holistic education and vocational training. At present, 1,600 girls are studying in four schools run by the education society.