Virar (Maharashtra): Thousands of people from the Vasai and Virar townships Sunday gave
a thumbs up to protecting the girl child by running in the first
ever marathon in their area, led by P.T. Usha and other sports
Former Indian sprinter Usha, the brand ambassador of the
Vasai-Virar Mayor Marathon, led around 10,000 runners and cheered
the crowds. She was joined by Bollywood actress Mahima Choudhary,
hockey legend Dhanraj Pillay and new hockey sensation Yuvraj
"The motto of the marathon is 'Save the Girl Child & Maintain
Nature's Balance,' for which more than 10,000 people are running,
including many women," said Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation
Mayor Rajeev Patil.
"We shall reach out to the entire population of the Vasai-Virar
green belt as well as other neighbouring districts to propagate
the message of saving the girl child and maintaining nature's
balance," he added.
Vasai-Virar has been declared as a green belt by the state
Other prominent athletes who are participating include Lyngkhoi
Binning, Deepchand Saharan, Sagar Mane and Kalidas Sahipule in the
men's full marathon, while the women's half marathon has attracted
athletes like Lalita Babar, Monica Atre, Kiran Tiwari and Sangita
They were joined by thousands of young men, women, collegians and
senior citizens who came out in droves to take part in the event.
The marathon has on offer a total prize money of Rs.15 lakh across
eight race categories.
Usha, who arrived here Saturday, said she was "honoured" to be
part of the event as it is organised to promote the welfare of the
Mumbai, Thane (city), and Pune already have their own marathons
which have blossomed into mega events over the past few years.
Vasai-Virar are two densely populated townships on the western
corner of Thane district, situated around 60 km north west of