Thousands of women present at the flag-off point felt proud when Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, during his speech on Sunday morning, mentioned about the impressive 40% participation from women in Sabarmati Marathon 2013. Besides working women, home-makers came out in large numbers to be part of the grand event.
During the wee hours, home-maker Ragini Patel begins her day with daily chores; but on Sunday, she donned a track-suit and running shoes to join the race. “I wanted to enjoy and aspired to be a part of this grand event. I and my sister-in-law Hetal have participated as we feel that all Amdavadis should take part in it.” They had also convinced other relatives to participate - their group comprised seven women. She affirmed that they were so enthusiastic about such events in the city that they would participate in Sabarmati Cyclothon, too, which would be held on January 27.
Another home-maker, Nutan Shah, came with her two children and her relatives. Feeling zapped with the huge crowd, Shah said, “This is the first time that I’m participating in it. I had heard a lot about this event and so wanted to experience it.” Her daughter Devanshi, an MCom student, felt that gaining experience was more important than winning. The Shahs’ group consisted of 20 participants.
With their participation, the women surprised many, who thought that women and running were poles apart. While for some, it was the curiosity to be a part of the event, for others it was the desire to stay healthy. Gym trainer Pooja Kothari said, “Running and staying healthy isn’t taken seriously here. When people see women doing any exercise, they stare at them wondering what she is doing. They don’t understand that exercising is so important."