At times I did like pinching myself to believe WOOOOH!! What a wonderful journey that was!! And yeah, we did it with such an ease. Excellent management and coordination from each one of you. To begin with, none other than Khud Gabbar, the Don, Milind Soman. Ajit Pathak to follow. I thank Sharmila Kamat, Prashant, Sonia and you Vaishnavi from the core of my heart. A project, who’s founder I have never met, the entire support system whom I never knew could push us into such a wonderful initiative and keep us going till the end… it’s something beyond anyone’s belief.
It all began, when I just saw an update by one of my friends on FB, when the Amravati Marathon advertisements were already all over the city and on air. I always had a strong desire to run a marathon someday, but the nightmare of the distance always haunted me. Always into many kinds of sports like Table tennis, cycling, trekking, but never tried running. I got excited about Pinkathon, which I felt was a doable distance and got myself registered for Pune. Amravati was yet to be infected by the Pinkathon fever. So I thought I would run in Pune. Excitement mounted, when I started getting updates about Pinkathon activities in Pune and Mumbai. I really felt that Amravati was missing out on this wonderful drive that was initiated for a purpose. And the purpose motivated me all the more. I posted about Amravati being deprived of this and guess what!! I got a reply from Ajit Pathak and he sent the link to nominate my city.
To run the mini marathon, was my mission earlier. But now, it was to take Pinkathon to every home in Amravati. To create the awareness about the importance of walking and exercise in women. This is when I decided to lead Amravati as an Ambassador for Pinkathon. My friend, Kumud Mahendra, also a trekker and a physical trainer supported me to the core and we moved on.
I am happy that we have been successful in dragging 138 women out of their houses and got them to exercise and walk. We tried and made our practice sessions as interesting as we could by deciding colour codes, dress codes, the Amravati Pinkies Dindi, civil walks on weekends and what not. Thus, we got these ladies to run from 500 meters to 5 kms.
We tried to follow each and every instruction floated in the group by Milind Soman and the other leads. We have enjoyed every moment of the journey, right from adding females to the group ( since I have a school, here in Amravati, I began by enrolling all my teachers and the non-teaching team, by sponsoring them myself, most of them who had never walked in their lives) , went on to enroll more and make the entire journey as interesting as possible. I don’t know from where we got the energy, the enthusiasm…it just came. A journey that started by just thinking about myself ended up in motivating so many others to a cause that is the most important one today. And through this initiative I also learnt how we all neglect our health and place this as the last priority in our lives, whereas this should be on the top to let the rest going.
Being in a small city, born and brought up here, managing permissions and promotions is never an issue. So we decided the route. Now, this was the same day when the Amravati marathon was to be held and in which there were cash prizes announced up to 5 lakhs. The registration charges for the same was Rs 1000/- per head. We are happy to add that a few females who had registered for this run joined us for the Pinkathon, in spite of the registration there. Having my school premises as the starting point also eased out on a lot of arrangements.
Mr Dinesh Narsoo did an amazing job by helping us with the pictures daily and the
videos at the local level. This was a great motivation to all.
We invited the founders of the local newspapers which solved the media coverage area.
Here was the D day!! We had all the participants who had registered on the floor for a most lively session of Zumba to begin with and this was at 5.45 am. Zin Ashish Lulla , (also a parent of one of our students) had Amravati Pinkies rocking to the rhythm and what else could be a better scene to realized that our efforts paid off. Smiles on the faces of these women was much more that what it could have been, if I’d have participated alone. Ladies who failed to register were also seen running and tried their best! Amravati had approx 100 participants other than those enrolled, who ran on 21st October 2018. One of the most satisfying events ever organised. I am happy that most of these ladies continue to walk and have fun.
Amravati promises to double the number next year and maybe more. We appreciate the selfless dedication of each one of you and once again a BIG THANKS to MILIND SOMAN for initiating this wonderful task and having faith in me and Kumud to allow us to contribute our small drops to the vast ocean.