P.T.Usha named brand ambassador for Vasai-Virar Marathon

September 16th, 2011 - 9:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Govinda Virar (Maharashtra), Sep 16 (IANS) P.T. Usha, the yesteryears golden girl of Indian track and field, has been named as brand ambassador of the maiden Vasai-Virar Mayor’s Marathon scheduled here Sunday, an official said.

The marathon, to which the young state Health Minister Varsha Gaikwad and NCP MP from Baramati Supriya Sule have lent support, has been dedicated to the girl child.

“The motto of the marathon is ‘Save the Girl Child & Maintain Nature’s Balance’ for which nearly 10,000 people will run, and we expect maximum number of women to take part,” Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation mayor Rajeev Patil told mediapersons here Friday evening.

He said the imbalance in the child sex ratio confronting the state was a serious matter coupled with female foeticide and “we must put an end to it” through awareness campaigns.

“With the marathon, we plan to reach out to the entire population of Vasai-Virar green belt as well as other neighbouring districts to propagate the message of saving the girl child and maintaining nature’s balance,” Patil said.

Usha, who arrives here Saturday, said: “I am honoured to be part of the event as it is organised to promote the welfare of the girl child.”

Among the prominent personalities scheduled to take part in the marathon are hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay and the new hockey sensation Yuvraj Walmiki.

Other prominent athletes who have confirmed participation are Lyngkhoi Bining, Deepchand Saharan, Sagar Mane and Kalidas Sahipule in the men’s full marathon, while the women’s half marathon would see athletes like Lalita Babbar, Monica Atre, Kiran Tiwari and Sangita Yadav.

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

However, it is not known whether former MP and film-star Govinda, who hails from Virar, will be present for the event.

Legislator from Nala-Sopara suburb Kshitij Thakur said the Sunday marathon has been kept a state-level event, but in the coming years, it would be expanded to acquire a national-level status.

Legislator from the predominantly tribal belt of Boisar, Vilas Tare, said the tribal areas of Thane had a lot of hidden talent and it should be promoted through events like the marathon.

Incidentally, 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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