Spirit triumphs in jubilee run
Some overcame physical limitations, some travelled a long distance and one disregarded fever to join a 5km run on Red Road on Sunday morning.
Not all heroes wear capes. Ritam Mukhopadhyay and Yashvi Surana of Akshar School wore calipers and schoolmate Mansi Shah joined them in her wheelchair as they took part in the Diamond Jubilee Marathon Race, presented by the Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations in association with The Telegraph Young Metro.
“My strategy was to keep walking and it worked. I was excited and a bit scared, too, because it was my first run. But it gives me great joy to have finished the race,” said Ritam, a student of Class VII who was born with Spina Bifida, a condition in which the spinal cord fails to develop properly. He wears a caliper and uses a crutch for support.
Yashvi and Mansi, too, were proud runners on Sunday.
Ishita Pandit and her friends, students of Sri Aurobindo Vidya Bhavan, reached Balichak station in West Midnapore at 3am on Sunday to board a train to Santragachhi. From there, the girls, their principal and some teachers took a bus to Red Road.
Warming up before the race, Ishita said: “This is the first time we are taking part in a run and we are all very excited. I woke up at 2am to get ready. Our teachers and principal sir are a big motivation.”
Urvi Ray had high fever the night before but was determined not to miss the run. “I was feeling a little unwell at the start of the race but I just focused on running and eventually forgot about it. My parents encouraged me a lot as they themselves are sports enthusiasts,” said the Class IX student of South International School who joined the race with 11 schoolmates.
The 5km race was flagged off from Red Road at 7am and ended at St Thomas’ Boys’ School, Kidderpore. Open to students of classes VI to XII, the run saw more than a thousand students and teachers taking part.
“This is the first time the council has chosen a run to celebrate an occasion. The response has been overwhelming. Since last year we have been affiliated to the School Games Federation of India (SGFI) and we want to encourage sports among students,” said Gerry Arathoon, the chief executive and secretary of CISCE, which conducts the ICSE and ISC examinations.
Sonali Sen, the principal of DPS Newtown, thanked the council for its student-centric approach to academics and co-curricular activities.