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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Breaking the dress code barrier: Pune woman to walk 100 km marathon in ‘Nauvari’

Mrunal Inamdar will walk 100 km in a Nauvari, a traditional Maharashtrian sari, to highlight the strength of women who carry out a range of physically rigorous work and are, yet, not considered equal to men.

Written by Dipanita Nath | Pune |
Updated: February 24, 2021 8:34:22 pm
Mrunal Inamdar

Light, breathable and comfortable — wearing the right clothes is essential for marathon participants and other fitness enthusiasts. Pune’s Mrunal Inamdar, however, chooses to pair her sneakers with a sari.

In March, she will walk 100 km in a Nauvari, a traditional Maharashtrian sari, to highlight the strength of women who carry out a range of physically rigorous work and are, yet, not considered equal to men. The event she has enrolled in is the Oxfam Trailwalker Virtual Challenge.

“I am a proud Maharashtrian Indian, so I wanted to promote my culture and break the dress code barrier. I wore Nauvari during my Mumbai to Pune run in 2018, a three-day run that included 65 km on the first day. During my Satara to Pune run in 2019, again three-day run in a sari, I covered 58 km on the first day,” says Inamdar.

In her colourful saris, Inamdar stands out among other participants and this is what she wants. “When I did the Satara Hill Half-Marathon, I was overwhelmed with the response from my co-runners. Most of them wanted to click selfies with me and some went live on Facebook. A couple of them made video calls to encourage their mothers and wives to step out of the house for walks,” she says, adding that she is glad that a lot of women in rural areas have started being health conscious.

“Even my relatives in the village have started going for walks,” she adds.

Since it was introduced in Bengaluru in 2012, the Oxfam Trailwalker has become one of the major events for fitness enthusiasts across the world. Over 10 days, participants may choose to finish 100 km, 50 km, or 25 km, as they come to terms with their own strengths, team spirit and ambition.

The first leg of this year’s challenge will be held between February 25 and March 6, and from March 8-17. The event aims to draw attention towards gender inequality, especially during the pandemic that resulted in increased job losses, domestic violence, and disrupted education for women.

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