10,000 run in Maharashtra marathon for girl child

September 18th, 2011 - 1:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Virar (Maharashtra), Sep 18 (IANS) Thousands of people from the Vasai and Virar townships Sunday gave a thumbs up to protecting the girl child by running in the first ever marathon in their area, led by P.T. Usha and other sports celebrities.

Former Indian sprinter Usha, the brand ambassador of the Vasai-Virar Mayor Marathon, led around 10,000 runners and cheered the crowds. She was joined by Bollywood actress Mahima Choudhary, hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay and new hockey sensation Yuvraj Walmiki.

“The motto of the marathon is ‘Save the Girl Child & Maintain Nature’s Balance,’ for which more than 10,000 people are running, including many women,” said Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation Mayor Rajeev Patil.

“We shall reach out to the entire population of the Vasai-Virar green belt as well as other neighbouring districts to propagate the message of saving the girl child and maintaining nature’s balance,” he added.

Vasai-Virar has been declared as a green belt by the state government.

Other prominent athletes who are participating include Lyngkhoi Binning, Deepchand Saharan, Sagar Mane and Kalidas Sahipule in the men’s full marathon, while the women’s half marathon has attracted athletes like Lalita Babar, Monica Atre, Kiran Tiwari and Sangita Yadav.

They were joined by thousands of young men, women, collegians and senior citizens who came out in droves to take part in the event.

The marathon has on offer a total prize money of Rs.15 lakh across eight race categories.

Usha, who arrived here Saturday, said she was “honoured” to be part of the event as it is organised to promote the welfare of the girl child.

Mumbai, Thane (city), and Pune already have their own marathons which have blossomed into mega events over the past few years.

Vasai-Virar are two densely populated townships on the western corner of Thane district, situated around 60 km north west of Mumbai.

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