Around 400 people on Sunday gathered at Girgaum Chowpatty to take part in a run aimed at creating awareness about wastage of food. The dabbawalas of Mumbai were the torchbearers of the run led by Arjuna awardees Sanjeeva Singh and Dattu Bhokanal, who represented India in a rowing event at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Torch Run, organised by Morpheus Creation India (MCI), a Mumbai-based organisation, is the first of the runs that will be conducted every year on Sunday ahead of Independence Day with an aim to garner support for crucial issues concerning the society at large. The theme for this year’s run was ‘Zero Wastage of Food’.
“The dabbawalas of Mumbai are our brand ambassadors. Their ‘Roti Bank’ initiative, started in 2015, promotes the efficient utilisation of food as a resource. Hence, we partnered with them for this event,” said Amit Jathar, President of MCI.
“The torch stands as a beacon of hope. Ahead of Independence Day, it will help ignite a sense of responsibility towards food in the minds of people,” he added.
The 35-km Indo Torch Run was flagged off from Girgaum Chowpatty at 7.30 am, and veered through parts of south Mumbai, covering iconic locations such as Haji Ali, Worli sea face, Mayor House, Lalbaug and Jijamata Udyan before converging at Hutatma Chowk.
Dignitaries such as Dr Rekha Bhatkhande, Mahant Shantigiri Maharaj, Subhash Talekar were present at these locations to welcome the athlete pair bearing the torch. Later, the torch was handed over to Dr Dilip Patil, who is the director of Lifelong Learning and Extension at Mumbai University.
The run saw participation from people belonging to different walks of life. Students and teachers from Vidyalankar School of Information Technology, ICLES’ Motilal Jhunjhunwala College and Birla College contributed to the cause by conducting skits and street plays.
“The irony of the Indian society is that while some go to bed hungry, there are many who waste food. Campaigns such as these will help strike a balance in the society,” said Vinayak Karande, a teacher from Motilal Jhunjhunwala College.
In addition to the run, various allied activities such as poster making competitions and debates will be held in 250 colleges across Mumbai.