The highly anticipated event which saw the participation of hundreds of women was marred by controversies.

On 22nd January, the University of Delhi’s North Campus was filled with scores of women who participated in the DUSU Skytouch Women Marathon. The marathon was organised by Mahamedha Nagar, the Secretary of the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU), and Uma Shankar, the Joint-Secretary of DUSU in association with Sky Touch Foundation. The aim of the marathon was to question the tax imposed on the sanitary napkins and to remove the stigma surrounding the concept of menstruation.

Popular Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar attended the event in the capacity of a Chief Guest. He flagged off the event after addressing the participants as well the audience. Speaking about the importance of menstrual hygiene and women empowerment, he said, “Even though this is an all-girls marathon, I’m happy to see that many guys are here too. Today, we are here not to just run but to have an open and honest conversation about menstrual health.” He also promoted his upcoming film Pad Man, which is inspired from the life of Arunachalam Muruganantham, a social activist who invented the low-cost sanitary pad-making machine.

Akshay Kumar and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) DUSU members launched 10 sanitary pad vending machines. “By the next month we are aiming to install sanitary pad vending machines in all Delhi University colleges, regardless of their affiliation with DUSU,” Mahamedha Nagar told DU Beat.

The marathon started after a delay of two hours, which caused inconvenience for the participants. “While I have drained all my energy, it looks like the organisers are only concerned about Akshay Kumar,” a participant complained.

Citing security reasons, the Delhi Police changed the original four-kilometre route, only a few hours prior to the run. The marathon, which started on a high note, fell into troubled waters by the end of the day. Confusion arose when multiple participants claimed to have come first. When no one could be credited with a position, it was decided that the top 100 runners will be called for another one-kilometre mini-marathon, which is tentatively scheduled for the upcoming weekend.

When asked about the unexpected turn of events, Mahamedha Nagar explained, “Due to the mismanagement of the Delhi Police, the participants ran the distance from two different directions. They all covered the same distance on the same route, but from opposite sides. This caused major indecisiveness. We didn’t want to be unfair to anyone; hence, we will now have another marathon. I’m happy to go an extra mile to ensure fairness rather than award anyone for the sake of convenience.”

In spite of logistical and managerial issues, the marathon succeeded in inserting the tabooed subject of menstruation into popular conversation, which is an achievement in itself.


Image Credits: Ayush Chauhan for DU Beat

Niharika Dabral

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Child Rights and You, also known as CRY, an NGO that works for the underprivileged children and protection of child rights in India, organised a marathon-‘Run for Child Rights’, on 26 February 2016, at Delhi University North Campus to bring about an awareness about child labour in India. The marathon was organized by CRY’s Child Rights Leaders across 8 colleges in Delhi University.

With a turnout of about a 100 students, the marathon began from the Vishwavidyalaya metro station and covered most colleges in the campus including Miranda House, Ramjas, Hindu, St.Stephens, SRCC, Hansraj, Kirori Mal, SGTB Khalsa and Daulat Ram College. 

With morning zest, student volunteers at the marathon raised slogans like- Education is our birth right, child labour we must fight, Hamane aab hain ye thana, bal bazdoori ko jad se mitana, Abhi humey karni hai padhai, mat karvaao humse kamaai”. 

The marathon was organized keeping in mind the rising number of Child Labourers in the campus and how we, as young adults, have got so immune to seeing these children engage in labour, that seldom do we stop and think twice about helping them get out of their situation. 

While we sit in the comfort of our warm blankets and enjoy the luxuries of our life, the child labour statistics of the country are staggering. As per the National Census 2011, India has 10.1 million child labourers in the age group of 5 to 14. 168 million children are estimated to be engaged in Child Labour around the world (ILO, 2012) that means every 17th working child in the world is in India.

Child labour, somehow, has become a social norm that we accept and tolerate in our society. This exploitative and abusive practice will continue unless society adopts a zero tolerance attitude towards it. Children continue to be exploited and abused because the State and people do not address children’s issues comprehensively and effectively.

However, only ‘rescuing’ children, often will not help. What is required is addressing the reasons that force children to work. Children work mainly to help their families because the adults do not have appropriate employment and adequate income. Children also work because there is a demand for cheap labour in the market. When children are forced to work long hours their ability to get adequate nourishment and to attend school is limited, preventing them from gaining education. Therefore, the need of the hour is to rise and give voice to these children who slog the innocence of their childhood in labour and give them the bright future they rightfully deserve. 

Image credits: CRY team 

Riya Chhibber 

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I ran my first race at the tender age of five. I was in upper kindergarten (UKG) and my school was celebrating its Annual Sports Day. It was a ‘Banana Race’: one had to eat a banana at the initial line and then run 50m to the finish line.  Technically, I never even ran the race because the tubby little me, cared only for the free banana. So after eating the banana, satisfied and content, I just stood at the initial line.

That was ‘then’. Fourteen years later, fast forward to the present year, ‘now’. I participated in the Vizag Marathon and came first in the ‘Open Women’s Category’. I won a certificate, a gold medal and a cheque of Rs.10,000. Who could have ever thought that the ‘Banana Girl’ would grow up to become a ‘Champion Marathoner’?


The journey wasn’t easy, of course. And the transformation took it’s time. But I honestly feel that ‘running’ is a sport that can be embraced by anybody and everybody.  It comes naturally to human beings- it does not need to be taught, because it is innate and self- evident. Unlike golf, tennis and swimming, it does not require a special environment (course, court and pool, respectively). It also does not need expensive equipment- just shoes, comfortable clothing and a steely will.

If you’ve ever felt like breaking the pattern of your sedentary lifestyle, doing something healthy and becoming active, then I urge you to take up running. You can start small- maybe walk, then take it up a level and jog and then go on to full-fledged running.  But, you must find that determination and START!

Once you start, you can follow these steps and soon, you’ll be running long distances like a pro. You can then challenge yourself and participate in marathons. And who knows, maybe even win them!

‘Running’, like all other sports, requires commitment.  Once you start training yourself, you need to muster up all your perseverance and keep at it. You’re not going to turn into a runner in a day, week or month. Accept that and don’t give up. Monitor your progress and stick to your regime. You’ll get your results over time. But when you do, you’ll look back and realise it was all worth the wait and persistent effort.

You can fasten your journey by embracing healthy eating habits. The deadly cocktail of diet and fitness guarantee long-term benefits.  When you eat nutritious food, your internal health improves.  This gives a boost to your stamina and energy levels, enhancing your performance. So, chuck the fries and soda. Grab an apple and watch your overall fitness levels skyrocket to unimaginable heights!

When you feel you’ve achieved your goal of running 500m without panting, crank it up a notch and try doing the same for 1 km. And then 2,3 and 4kms. Don’t follow stagnated  goals. It is very important to keep moving forward. So you need to review your goals, increase speed, increase distance and then ensure that you’re meeting these goals within the given time frame. Remember, the key is to keep moving!

Your journey of transformation asks for your ‘patience’. Keep yourself going by changing your environment every now and then. If you’ve been running on your college tracks for over 6 months, try going to a park and practicing there. Or try a treadmill at the gym. Update your running playlist. Run with a friend. Jazz up the scene and make running fun! If you succeed in doing so, you’ll never have to come up with excuses to bunk training. 

Over-training can derail all your sincere efforts.  Over-training can lead to muscle break-down, aches and serious fatigue. So if you over-train for a week and then need a week to recuperate from the damage, you’ve done yourself a huge disservice. It’s advisable to train only 5-6 days a week and keep at least 1 day of rest, when you let your body replenish prepare itself for next week’s training. Don’t let ambition blind you to the fact that you’re working with a human body, not a machine.

Now is the perfect time to add ‘running’ to your Resolution List. So get ready to get fit in 2016! Here’s to a ‘Healthy’ 2016! Hip, hip, HURRAY!

Image Credits: Kriti Sharma

Kriti Sharma
[email protected]


Delhi University Stiudents Union (DUSU) organised a university wide marathon in North Campus, as a part of ABVP’s endeavor to create political awareness among university students. Organised every year since 2009 (barring 2012 and 2013- when ABVP wasn’t in power), the central theme of the marathon was Initiative 272: securing 272 seats for Mr. Narendra Modi in the fast approaching elections.

Among the Chief Guests were Mr. Suresh Thakur, owner and CEO of the media house- Aapka Faisla, Mr. Umesh Dutt, National General Secretary, ABVP and Dr. Sanjay Kumar, Assistant Professor, Aurobindo College.


Organized by Raju Rawat (DUSU Treasurer), Dharmedre (Dhamu) and Avadh Nagpal, the marathon managed to get thousands of students out on the streets to support ABVP. The marathon started from Law Faculty, North Campus and circumferenced the entire campus region. Tens of policemen patrolled the region to make sure that the event progresses smoothly. The turnout was huge and the event took place in a highly orderly manner.

Avadh Nagpal, one of the main organisers of the event, had the following to say, ‘We faced a lot of problems. Some of our important sponsors backed out last minute. A lot of preparations were in jeopardy because of that. But we somehpw had to pull it off. We aimed to bring together 25,000 students and we managed around 11,000. So extremely satisfied.”