The authorities in Haryana have got a warm response to statewide marathons with over 3.7 lakh people already registering for 3, 5 and 10 km race events scheduled to be held at the district headquarters on January 12 on the occasion of National Youth Day.
A government spokesperson said that 2.65 lakh males and 1.05 lakh females have registered for the run-for-youth marathons. Rewari where a state-level function will be held leads the pack with more than 60,000 registrations. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar will flag off the Rewari marathon. Rohtak and Hisar follow with over 32,000 and 20,000 registrations respectively.
The spokesperson said that 2.18 lakh people have registered for 3-km marathon, 1.21 lakh for 5-km marathon and 30,571 for 10-km marathon. He said that 1.14 lakh school students, 48,644 college students, and 21,065 players have registered. The spokesman said that among the registered people, there are 2.48 lakh in the age group of 15-35, 55,894 in the age group of 35-50, 54,889 in the age group of 10-15 and 11,047 are above 50 years.
Officials say the highest number of participants are in the age group of 15-35 years. The maximum response is from schools and colleges, policemen, sportspersons, teachers and other government employees.
Encouraged by response to its community connect initiatives, the Haryana government has decided to organise marathons at all district headquarters on January 12, the National Youth Day.
Observed every year since 1984, usually schools and colleges hold cultural and sports event to mark the day in the memory of Swami Vivekananda, who had called upon people to choose football over study of Gita if they wanted to be nearer to the heaven.
This year, the state government is celebrating the birthday of Swami Vivekananda as National Youth Day in all districts
In a meeting with officials over the issue recently, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had stated that “the effective citizenship is as important as good governance for the success of a democracy”. “Through successful community-building models like marathon and raahgiri, we should encourage people to be aware and responsible, adopt an active lifestyle and positive outlook,” he had stated.
During the past couple of years, the marathon, a community sports, has found favour with people of all age groups in Haryana as it offers them an opportunity to participate, and invokes in them a sense of territorial pride transcending caste, class, culture and age.
Beginning in April 2015 in Panchkula, eight marathons with average participation of 50,000 have been organised so far in Hisar (twice), Jind (twice), Sirsa, Yamunanagar and Panipat.
Khattar to intract with the youth
On the occasion, Khattar will interact with the youth of the state in the Yuva Samvad programme through video conferencing from Rewari on Sunday to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. During the interaction, the Chief Minister will share the ideology of Swami Vivekananda with the youth. Earlier, the Chief Minister would flag off the run-for-youth marathon at Rewari itself. In this programme, 17,966 youth in the age group of 13-35 years have registered for the ‘Yuva Samvad’ programme.