Running as a sport is accessible. Feel like running? You can run now. Running demonstrates determination in its purest form. It’s all about perseverance, focus and hard-work — untampered by anything else that can tilt the field. Running is unique in providing what has been called “a mass celebration of individual accomplishment”.
It’s in that spirit that in 2014, a group of individuals decided to use their love for running to promote their passion amidst a wider group of people in an effort to get them involved in contributing resources for a social cause.
Mera Terah Run was born to collectively run for socially-relevant causes each year — to combine awareness building and fund raising, when and where necessary.
Jagdish Damania, one of the founders of Mera Terah Run is an ultra-runner and a software professional.
“I have had a very interesting and varied relationship with running. Running, though often solitary, isn’t always just about one person. Sometimes, we also run for others and the communities around us. For us in the group, it wasn’t just about the distance and the exercise, it was about doing something for a larger cause — a higher aim. So in the year 2014, 13 of us ran a total of 2,021 kms across 13 states in 13 days across India. In 2015, we started our journey at Kanyakumari and finished at Koteshwar in Gujarat — running for different NGOs and social groups,” says Damania
Another co-founder of Mera Terah Run, Brijesh says: “This year, the theme is Miles For Millets. We are doing our bit by running across India’s many cities to bring the humble millets back onto the Indian thaali and bring them to the fore in the food chain — as the quest for healthy food alternatives continues in the country. Through our run, we hope to promote millet cultivation, their processing and their consumption. Such a trend will boost local millet endeavours of both social enterprises and non-profits.”
Now’s when you ask, ‘When was the last time cricket in India went about town promoting healthy eating and saving farmers’?
Because isn’t it great that while you pursue an interest, or a sport, you are also thinking of doing some good for those around you? Marathons are an excellent way to bring up topics that need immediate debate or a discussion. There is nothing quite like the sight of a thousand people running on the streets outside your home with an idea or a message printed on their shirts, or shorts. It turns heads and sends cameras flashing.
Running is also an excellent catalyst to raise funds for a cause. Additionally, there are lakhs of individuals who are interested in contributing to the society and if that noble effort also helps them to stay fit, this is probably the best win-win situation we’ve ever had.
Remember, we can make a mark on the lives of others too... not just our own. And all you need to do is get moving....