About 2,000 people participated in the Tamil Marathon from Eliot’s beach on Sunday, keeping the focus on ‘a run for the needy masses.’ The marathon drew not only participants from the state but also a substantial number of Tamilians from neighbouring states like Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat. There were even three Tamils from S Korea among the runners.
The organisers are hoping Tamil pride will see participation expand for the event to become the world’s biggest marathon for Tamil people living worldwide. This is the brainchild of Hemanth R, with his team of 10 students.
“In this event for charity we have not taken a single penny from the sponsors, whereas we requested them to provide services only,” shared Hemanth. “We look for more helping hands to support this event for the success of Tamil roots and the furtherance of Tamil culture.”
The organisers are hoping to take this event for Tamil culture, heritage and art abroad in the near future. The next events are tentatively slated to take place in New Jersey, Toronto and London and Kuala Lumpur as these cities have a sizeable population of Tamils. There has also been good response from Mauritius, Maldives and Singapore and the plan is to host the marathon in at least 10 countries by the end of 2019.
The professor of visual communication, used to take a group of students to remote villages for outreach activities, which is where he found the motivation to raise funds to help the rural development cause. Electricity has not yet come to some villages while in most of them there is no proper sanitation system.
“Hence we took a step forward and extended our support for swift evolution and to eradicate the spoiling of nature and culture,” according to the volunteers organising the marathon. “We are associated with Tamil associations across the globe with regard to spreading awareness,” Hemanth added.
The entire proceeds drawn from the registration fees of these Tamil marathons will be documented and placed on the website for the people across world to scan and check. Over 14,000 villages across 32 districts from the state of Tamil Nadu are in need of funds as they have been marked as ‘developing,’ according to their survey.
The immediate target of the marathon is to reach 10,000 villages at least from the proceeds drawn from registrations. In the first phase, we identified 43 villages in Kanchipuram district. “We are going to set up a welfare scheme for those villages through organic farming, education, health and hygiene,” he informed.
The marathon was followed by a beautiful presentation of folk dances: Mayilattam, Karakattam, Oyilattam and Silambattam by a group of Tamil folk artistes....