New Delhi, Aug.17 : Kicking off on 22 August, Samantha Gash, an endurance athlete from Australia and a passionate advocate for social change, will begin a 3800 km run across India.
Samantha's Run India Project will take her from Jaisalmer in Rajasthan to Mawsynram in Meghalaya to raise funds for the education of underprivileged children in India.
"This is the biggest challenge I've ever undertaken. It will take me around 76 days and I'll take over five million steps but, when you consider the challenges many children face on a daily basis, this is not comparable," Ms Gash said.
"Through Run India, we are aiming to raise funds to support six World Vision Area Development Projects that focus on education.
These are in Jaipur, Barmer, Kanpur, North-West Delhi, Hardoi and Pauri. "This project will showcase the human stories and practical realities that are faced in these communities and demonstrate World Vision's approach to sustainable development, which is about providing a hand up, rather than a hand out." Australia's High Commissioner to India, Harinder Sidhu, has commended Ms Gash for her spirit and determination in choosing to run through climatically-diverse stretches of India.
"I commend Samantha Gash for undertaking such a challenging adventure. Her run is in keeping with the spirit of adventure for which Australians are known," she said. "I am particularly pleased that Samantha's run will raise money for less-privileged children's education in India." Samantha is no stranger to taking on challenges.
In 2012, she became the youngest Australian woman to run across the Simpson Desert, a distance of 379 km.
Yet another challenge she took up was to run 1,968 km across South Africa in 2014. World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello called Samantha an inspiration. "Samantha's passion for shining a light on some of the world's most vulnerable children by undertaking this huge challenge is formidable and impressive.
Her goal to run 3,800km across India may seem too big, too ambitious, but so is our goal of ending child poverty, no target is too difficult to achieve when we have determination, passion and work together," he said.
Samantha will be the second Australian ultra-marathon runner undertaking such a venture this year. In January-March, former Australian politician and ultra-marathon runner Pat Farmer undertook a 4600- km run through 12 states, from Kanyakumari, in the south, to Srinagar, in the north.