Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Team Asha 8K @ Ananya - Oct 30th, 2010.

Team Asha 8K is fast becoming a popular community owned event in Bangalore. It is a unique event where children from various backgrounds - class, caste, religion etc. participate together with adults from again various backgrounds - teachers, professionals, students etc. Children from Asha supported efforts or other efforts catering to the underprivileged participate in the event for free of cost. The event always focuses on environmental sensitivity. We reduce the use of plastic/paper to a bare minimum and use environmentally sustainable practices to the fullest extent possible. This helps create awareness for such a need for environnmental sensitivity amongst children as well.

The entry fee this year came down further to Rs. 100, making it accessible and worthwhile for everyone to participate. The fee also got the runner a delicious breakfast and a sporty Team Asha cap. More than 150 children from various schools/efforts and a total of 300+ runners participated in the run on Saturday, October 30th, 2010. The Ananya children planned, organized and executed the entire race. There were teams to take care of each aspect of the logistics - Race course directions/marking, Parking, Timing, Water stop, Registration, Drop bags, Catering, Touring Ananya - All of these tasks were led and coordinated by the children.

There were two options - 4km and 8km. Many children did the 8km run. The run was on a scenic route with a lot of trees in sections and in some sections running along fields. The 2K out and back route had a turn around on a large clearing next to the road. The village folks also cheered and supported us. All the water stops and cheering stations were managed and organized by the children of Ananya school. It was an electric atmosphere with the children cheering every runner who came along the route! It was heart warming to see the children cheer each other forgetting all the differences between them once outside of this setting.

Children from the following efforts participated:
Sita School
Kaigal Sanctuary Schools
Spastics Society
Thai Mane

The children were very thrilled with the experience and it was an important exposure for them. It was heartwarming to see Ananya children and Spastics society kids trying to plan a cricket match. Kaigal children and Thai Mane kids also invited everyone to their schools. This has given an opportunity for the various efforts to interact and further their learning. Most importantly, as organizers of this event we believe in this event providing an opportunity of learning through experience. It was indeed a wonderful learning experience for everyone involved!

This academic year Ananya, is trying to help the children become independent and also learn some entrepreneurial skills. The idea is to create projects over a few months which will involve the children in designing and rolling out products - for e.g. puppets, organic produce etc. Through the projects we tie in concepts related to business studies, maths, science, social science etc. The kids put up their own stalls and displayed a stunning array of products! There was a very successful sale and all the kids could recover more than their loan amounts! 4 groups were given Rs. 3K each and together they raised a revenue of Rs. 21K!!

Here are the words of Sriranjani, a facilitator/coordinator for the Kaigal Sanctuary Schools:

"It was a great event yesterday. Our children and teachers were all happy and proud to have participated in the run. They were so excited and thrilled that not a single one of them took off their bib or cap till they reached The Valley School.

The event was very well organized and it went off so smoothly. Like you had mentioned earlier, we are looking for the day when other schools will participate in events like ours which are there just for the joy of doing and participating.

It has been a wonderful experience for all of us going through the training and the discipline. Many of our kids want to run more and Jayaram (name changed) is keen on running the half marathon next. It was indeed a special moment for us to watch Kanthamma (teacher, name changed) run in her saree, overcoming any resistance her community may have posed for her running. Many of our teachers feel willing and able to run to raise funds for their schools.

We would like to convey our sincere thanks for the support and services rendered by the following partners -
Printo - for all the water proof Bibs, beautiful caps and stickers.
Greenpath & Era Organic - for a splendid organic breakfast and organic bananas for the run.
Ponnusamy - Neighborhood milkman for providing fresh cow's milk and space for parking!
Rajashekar Hospitals - for their reliable and consistent medical/emergency support as always.
Volunteers - Manjula, Kavitha, Siva (Cyclists), Decathlon reps (Sijo, Sachin), Mathew, Anuj, Sourabh, Hyma and other Citrix volunteers, Sriram (Asha volunteer), Kids and staff of Ananya!!

Results: http://www.ashanet.org/bangalore/teamasha8k/results.html

Video(Courtesy: Tom Cole, a team asha runner):

Team Asha 8K run prep
Team Asha 8K Run - Start/Finish area
Photos from Prem's camera
Manjula's Facebook Album (has photos taken on the run route)


Balaji said...

Great Show guys! Really feeling bad to miss it!

Vidhya said...

It was good to see that 'environmental sensitivity' was thought about at every stage. It was a great way of bringing people together based on their interest to run. Looking forward to more such events from Team Asha.

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