On March 12, the JJs (Jayanagar Jaguars), a training academy for running, organised a Saree Run Marathon, sponsored by Taneira, at the Salt Lake Stadium, which saw participation from more than 4,000 women from all over the city. The marathon started at 6.30am from Salt Lake Stadium Gate No.3, and women of all ages ran in beautiful saris to Central Park, Salt Lake. The idea behind the Saree Run was to highlight that a section of society shies away from fitness activities owing to various reasons, be it inhibitions to wear activewear or restrictions from families for the same. The general perception amongst women is fitness is only for a privileged few who have a lot of time and can wear activewear. The Saree Run is an attempt to change the narrative that fitness needs specific attire. Embracing fitness should be easy without any inhibitions. The JJs (Jayanagar Jaguars) have been successfully organising the Saree Run event in Bengaluru for the last seven years, encouraging women to take up fitness.
(Right) Shruti Agarwal, a regular runner and podium finisher for many marathons, said, “A sari has the power to convert a girl next door into a marathoner. A sari is not simply an outfit. It’s a power, an identity, it’s a language.”
(Centre) Gayatri Chopra (left), 82 years old, was the oldest participant who completed the full course of the marathon. She said, “The importance of fitness for women cannot be stressed enough. Run, jog, walk to cover the distance of your choice in the Saree Run was a unique and feel-good event. I was delighted to join this event which was the first of its kind in Calcutta. Women came out in thousands to prove that for fitness no specific attire is a prerequisite.” (Right) Priscilla Corner, creative director of June Tomkyns said, “So loved being a part of a movement that not only celebrated sisterhood, but also that used, as its symbolic reference for the breaking of existing stereotypical notions about fitness attire, the six yards of timeless versatility, namely, the sari!”
(Left) Rukmini Ghosh with her seven-year-old daughter participated in the marathon wearing saris. “Unique liberating experience with so many women across all age groups,” said Rukmini.
MLA Sujit Bose and actress Darshana Banik flagged off The Saree Run at Salt Lake Stadium on March 12.
Pramod Deshpande, chief coach and mentor of JJ Active, said, “Being a fitness enthusiast, I would like to thank the women of Calcutta for this overwhelming response to the first Taneira Saree Run in the city. We believe that this all-women’s event will change their perception and help them embrace a healthy and fit lifestyle.”
Women from all over the city enthusiastically turned up at 6.30 in the morning and participated in the fitness marathon looking elegant in beautiful saris. The starting point of the marathon was Salt Lake Stadium Gate No.3 and stretched up to Central Park with the finish line back at Gate No.3.
should be easy without any inhibitions. The JJs (Jayanagar Jaguars) have been successfully organising the Saree Run event in Bengaluru for the last seven years, encouraging women to take up fitness.
Chetana Sahoo is a mountaineer and has summited around 10 peaks like Mt. Everest and Mt. Kilimanjaro. She said, “Today I experienced the true moments of health and happiness which Indian women needed the most. I am sure these small steps will show the world the true strength of Indian women and I am feeling blessed to be a part of this event and would love to be a part of future events too.”
After a successful marathon, all the ladies in saris came together to perform flashmob dance to songs like Kudi nu nachne de, Girls Like To Swing, Desi girl and many more.
Sunmbul Rahman is a mother, entrepreneur and fitness enthusiast. She is a Boston Marathon qualifier who recently participated in the National Masters championship representing West Bengal and won a gold and silver, and now she will represent India in the Asian Master’s championship. On participating in the marathon, she said, “I firmly believe that there are no shortcuts to the top and I enjoy contributing to charities and fundraising whereby I can combine my passion with social responsibility and philanthropy. JJ Active has taken a great initiative with The Saree Run, which was a different experience for me to run in a sari.”