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Australian Ultra Marathon Runner Samantha Gash completes 12-week Run across India

Samantha has raised a little over Rs.70,86,000 till now for World Vision's projects working in the areas of malnutrition, child marriage and gender bias

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Australian ultra marathon runner Samantha Gash. Facebook
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Shillong, November 5, 2016: Australian ultra marathon runner Samantha Gash, on a mission to raise awareness about the multiple barriers to access education in India, on Saturday ended her 12-week run here that started in Jaisalmer .

Kicking off on August 22, Samantha, 31, has run over 3,000 kms from one of the driest deserts in Jaisalmer to the east of India, ending in Shillong, which is one of the wettest places in the world.

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As part of the Run India campaign — Samantha, who is also a passionate advocate for social change — visited 18 World Vision India’s Area Development Projects across the country and got the opportunity to delve deeper into the challenges facing Indian communities.

She crossed eight states in 12 weeks. This 12-week challenge also invited runners and walkers of all ages from across the world to form their own teams, track the distances they have crossed and match it against Samantha’s.

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“I feel privileged to have been able to run across India and use it as an opportunity to experience how other people live. It’s one thing to hear about India’s diversity and richness of culture, but it’s another thing to be able to immerse yourself in it,” Samantha said in a release.

“The focus of this project isn’t about running a large distance across India. For me, it’s been a chance to identify how individuals and the community can come together to overcome adversity,” the Melbourne-based runner added.

Samantha has raised a little over Rs.70,86,000 till now for World Vision’s projects working in the areas of malnutrition, access to water and sanitation, child marriage and gender bias, which all present major obstacles to quality education.

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“The community visits are some of the most powerful moments along this journey that allowed me to connect the dots between what I observed every day during the run. I was inspired by the strength of women I met in Pauri and Lucknow, women who rallied their community together to devise initiatives to support those in need and establish small businesses,” she said.

“I was also confronted by my visit to a malnutrition clinic in Alwar. Here I met ill babies and saw their mothers deal with life and death issues relating to food security, lack of education and resources. It has been powerful to see how the smallest things can help but empowering to realise how much more needs to be done.” (IANS)

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  • Ruchika Kumari

    Congratulations Samantha Gash…..You are running million of miles for such a noble cause

Next Story

International Girl Child Day: Celebrating Birth of a Girl Child

International Girls day is celebrated every year on 11th October in order to give the girl child the respect and dignity she deserves.

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International Girl Child Day
On this International Girl Child Day, let’s be a part of a world which celebrates the girl child and let’s do our bit in making the world a better place. Maxpixel

International Girl Child Day has been declared by the United Nations on the 11th October every year in order to celebrate the importance of the girl child. On the occasion of International Girl Child Day, let’s help to spread awareness about the various problems faced by the girl child.

Perception 

The common perception of any society, sees girls are often considered to be inferior to boys. Discrimination against girls is unchecked, Due to fear of exploitation, they are not sent to schools and denied the right to a decent education.

Due to fear of exploitation parents do not send girl child to schools. Pixabay

Female Foeticide

Female Foeticide is an issue which is prevalent in the urban and mostly in the rural areas. People who are ill-informed believe that a girl child is inferior to a boy and thus will not be able to help the family in any way other than increasing the burden of feeding another mouth on them.

Save a Girl Child and protect a woman’s Dignity.

 

Child Marriage

Child marriage is another important issue because of which girls are forced to drop out from their education at a very early age.  India has the highest number of girls forced into marriage under the legal age of 18 accounting for 10 million child brides in the world.

It accounts for more than 70000 deaths each year relating to maternal deaths from pregnancy and childbirth. They also become victims of domestic abuse and the dowry system.

In some parts of the country, family marries off the girl in early age in order to save their economic burden. The reason for child marriage being so prevalent even today lies in the dowry system practised by a large portion of the educated lot.

A 16-year-old girl stands inside a protection home on the outskirts of New Delhi, Nov. 9, 2012. She was rescued by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), a charity which rescues victims of bonded labor. voa

Girl Child Health

In the rural areas, the health facilities are not very developed. If there is a choice between the girl and boy, most of the people will make sure that the boy remains healthy in the hope of him supporting the family in future. Health facilities are the basic amenities of life and are meant to be used by everybody equally. In India, several girl children die of malnutrition and diseases before the age of 6.  Higher rates of child marriage lead to maternity deaths arising from complications in pregnancy and giving birth and it also increases the chances of the stillborn infant.

Girl Child Trafficking

Girl child trafficking is the defined as the trade any girl child under the age of 18 for the purpose of exploitation whether inside or outside the country.  According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one child disappears in every eight minutes. Mostly these children are underage girls. They are taken from their homes and sold in the market for the purpose of begging, labor, and sexual exploitation.  Sometimes it is their own family members who sell them for the need of money or just because they think she is a burden.

Child Marriage
According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one child disappears in every eight minutes. Wikimedia

On this International Girl Child Day, let us be a part of a world which celebrates the girl child and do our bit in making the world a better place.  A very much needed change in the society is the change in the attitude of the people. They should understand the fact that girls are equal to boys in all aspects and should be given equal respect and liberty.

The childhood of a girl can be preserved if we as a society come together and make sure she is nurtured, cherished, protected and should be given freedom to choose her life the way she wants to live.

(The facts were first published by CRY ).