Kolkata: The Season’s first road race inspire citizens to spread education. As the final day beckons, the city runners head towards the marathon with sheer enthusiasm that will be flagged off on 25th November from City Centre I, Salt Lake. A large number of runners have appeared for the final practice run – a prequel to the upcoming grand marathon.
Education shapes the future of children, catering to their fundamental growth and development. It is the quintessence of the preliminary development and nurturance that uplifts human being and childhood plays the most vital part.
Round Table India and Bharti Airtel organises fifth edition of Airtel Run for Education that aims to spread education aiding the underprivileged children like every year. This year Run for Education introduces single loop track for 21 km, spectacular coloured medals & sublime tee shirts. This is not only an end, the team behind this marathon- the Directors and Mentors are burning midnight oil to inspire the marathoners and make this event as exciting, motivating and entertaining as it can be. The organisers have designed a scenic route for the pacers that stretch across the streets dotted by lakes and fields to make the pacers familiar with the route that has been unveiled today.
The runners love affair with the city is never ending, such is the passion they derive while running and when they are inspired from the passion it becomes a turning point in their career. Luv Burman found his career to be thrilling after his first take off sometime three years ago, during which he ran at Maddox Square but could hardly manage 10 kms. His first proper run was for TSK25 in 2017. After this he joined Kolkata Road Runners, which became noteworthy for him.
A seasoned runner, who dreams of running, while eating, drinking and sleeping, Aloke Chaudhury started running to keep himself fit. With his agenda, the passionate runner trains himself regularly and does at least one long run of 20k+ every Sunday and 150-200 km of running every month. He has already 20+ half marathons, 25k and gets his personal best (PB) at 1.47 hours in ADHM (Airtel Delhi Half Marathon) last year. He runs to derive happiness and make others cheerful.
Imagine, a fitness enthusiastic, a trekker, a mother, and an entrepreneur by profession Sunmbul Rahman was inspired running by watching people run through the Marine Drive during her stay in Mumbai. She started off with 5 km run followed by 10 km and eventually took 21 km as well. Her urge to complete the full marathon ended this year in Mumbai with a time span of 4 hours 44 minutes. She has been awarded with few of her outstanding achievements in the recent times.
Veteran in the series of half marathon, Santosh Kr. Padhy had the habit of running which eventually turned into his passion. Santosh is eagerly looking forward to running 40 km per week for the Airtel run for Education half marathon after his hectic life of an HR in an IT organisation.
Another asset of Airtel Run for Education in the 21 km category is Rahul Gupta who was initially a fitness freak but found running difficult in the treadmill. Being a health conscious, he found he could eat everything else. He has been the supervisor of the North Kolkata Runners Group and a brand ambassador for IDBI Kolkata, Happy Heart Mini Marathon and SBI green Marathon this year. He dreams of running and carries the emotions of the runners. He boost up the runners by cheering them by cracking a joke, sharing motivational stories, to carry on the race.
Popularly known as S bro, in Kolkata running circuit, a long-distance runner started his long journeys with his first Half Marathon in Airtel Run for Education 2016 and finished four officials ultra (Maximum distance 88 kms), six Full Marathons (Personal Best 4 hours 13 minutes), 13 Half Marathons (1 hour 53 minutes) and numerous 10k.
As an avid learner, Sourav Kashyap aims for guidance from his mentor Running Legend Jayadev Raja aka J Bro, whio is the technical consultant to ARFE this year, and Mr. Tushar Tripathi, along with his trainers and running buddies, Saurav Bhartia, Dipankar Ray, Chao Lengdon Chaocing, Prema Rajaram to name a few. He is keenly looking forward to Airtel Half marathon that encourages not only education but also helps to keep him fit.
To keep focussed and fit, and disciplined, Gaurav Jojadia aims to reach new heights by overcoming challenges. Also a fitness enthusiast and a pacer last year for the Airtel Run for Education and helped many others to help achieve targets for 21 kms within the specified time limit. Completed full marathon in Tata Mumbai Marathon and Airtel Hyderabad Full Marathon successfully desires for more and this upcoming Airtel Run for Education is the one and only he is waiting for.
Sonal paul, a 21k pacer runs to meet her exhaustion after managing kids at home, accomplished a dozens of 10k awarded many times still believes that perseverance is the only word that lies to success after winning (MTB) Marathon Mountain biking in TCSFIT4LIFE (Tata Consultancy Services-fit4life) this year.
A motivator and a keen believer, Monalisa De devotes her leisure hours in working out and in running. She believes that her flow of positive energy encourages her to be happy and stay positive that boils down to running that kicked off in 2017 which marked the completion of few 10 kms runs. She has been awarded a silver medal in her category at Tata Steel Kolkata (TSK) 25km in 2017.
A lot of the pacers those of who are running for Airtel Run for Education meets challenges to achieve their dreams or takes running as a passion, or being a fitness freak, but there’s a lot more when bearing the physical challenge becomes a reason for a runner like Shubhashis Ghosh. Diagnosed with a rare electrical wiring issue in Heart called Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (SVT) at a very early age that impedes the normal heart functioning and sudden acceleration while resting.
Moreover met with a fatal accident where his left leg was affected consequently followed by the fracture of tibia and fibula bones, he was motivated by his two- year old son who beat him in any physical activity. While browsing websites, one fine day he took up the challenge of reliving the idea for registering One Kolkata Full Marathon, though he never ran for a single km throughout his life and his life has changed after that. When he took up run very seriously he found that he was exhausted after covering only 1.7 km. He started practising every day to increase his stamina. Eventually he completed his first marathon followed by other marathons in different cities. He strongly believes that amidst the physical challenges, hard work and dedication defeats everything.
The pacers running across the city either to achieve their dreams, some live up to meet challenges, some to keep themselves fit, some to embrace happiness, but at the end of the day it is evident that they are running for the common cause- to educate the underprivileged children, the funds for which is required for building schools and premises to help the children to get the basic facilities and maintain sanitation and other facilities to provide hygiene. The “Freedom through Education” helps the schools to build classrooms, staircase blocks and toilet blocks.
In the year 2014, Vivekanda Bidya Mandir had built six classrooms impacting 500 students every year, in 2015 Sarada Sishu Mandir (Tanterberia, Howrah) had built four classrooms that helped 750 students to study. Similarly, 2016 had seen four newly- build classrooms in Katadanga Arya Jatiya Vidyalaya (Katadanga) for 800 children and the last year Champdani Ram Dulari Hindi High School (Champdani ) had added three classrooms that impacted 600 students. This year the funds from the marathon has been dedicated to the construction of new ground floor building structure, classrooms, a staircase and a toilet block and a facility for a drinking water at Saraswati Shishu Mandir (Kanchdiha), which proposes to hold upto 400 students once constructed.