I visited Ananya last October for a run. This was Team Asha's first year in Bangalore and we wanted to organize a run at a school. Also last October, Doc was doing his 'Run October Run' which was basically a half marathon every day of the month. He was open to running in different places and with different groups of people to raise awareness about running. Asha had supported Ananya in the past and Sanjeev got in touch with them to organize a run there. Shashi, the coordinator of Ananya, and others were very enthusiastic about this, which was very nice. Running is part of the activities the kids do there. Also, Ananya had supporters running to raise awareness for them in the Mumbai marathon. So Team Asha, running with the kids - none of this needed any explanation.
A bunch of runners that included Team Asha, Doc, RFL reached Ananya early in the morning. The kids were all up and ready for the run too! We started soon and it was a blast. People were running, walking, jogging and there were a good number of us on the road. The route, near Bellandur, was very beautiful. Post run we all had breakfast at the school. It was a wonderful experience and we are plan to organize another run with Ananya this year too.
Right now the children are on a tour, visiting places across the country. They start with Goa, then get to Rajasthan, Delhi and Mussoorie. They are also staging a play in many of these places/schools they are visiting. Its an adaptation of a book by Trina Paulus called 'Hope for the Flowers'. A wonderful, very quick read. I highly recommend it. You can find a version online here
In their adaptation, this is what they are talking about:
"fighting the Diploma Disease, not joining the mindless majority who are a part of the rat-race and oblivious to their goals in life. It is about each one of us identifying our latent qualities and using them rather than following the herd in the quest for something unknown. It talks about transforming our lives in our own unique ways, not by competition but by co-operation."
I am joining them during their Mussoorie trip, where they will be staying at SIDH. A four day workshop has been organized for the children there and then we will all be trekking to nearby schools that SIDH works with. More on this when am back, which is just before the Bangalore Ultra!