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Unique Independence day 19.47 km marathon revisits India's Partition history

The special event was being organized by Gurugram's well known running expert, Coach Ravinder who is supporting The 1947 Partition Archive.

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Runners and walkers in Delhi's NCR region participated in a 19.47 km run on August 11, in commemoration of the 72nd independence day anniversary of India. 

Not only was the distance they ran symbolic of the historic year 1947, they were expecting something unique at the finish line.  Like most marathons, there was not only dancing and food, but there was also a historic exhibition that recalled the birth of modern India through stories of those who lived through 1947.  Many in the area belong to families that migrated from erstwhile modern Pakistan or Bangladesh.  This history is deeply personal for them.

"I am one such individual," says Guneeta Bhalla, who founded and leads the organizing team at The 1947 Partition Archive. "I was born in Delhi and I recently returned here.  My family migrated from Lahore in 1947." 

The special event was being organized by Gurugram's well known running expert, Coach Ravinder who is supporting The 1947 Partition Archive.  "We wanted to do something interesting for Independence Day... to engage the old timers who remember that time period and the younger generation that is more used to celebrating independence day."  To keep the historic theme accurate, the organizers plan to serve Punjabi and Bengali cuisine, with performances by the group Bhangra Junction and sufi singer Sonam Kalra.

This run isn't just for trained long distance runners.  A 1947 meter walking category hopes to engage people of all fitness levels and ages.  "We are especially hoping those who are over 72 years of age and recall that history will join us on this special occasion.  Together we will celebrate health and look towards healing some of the wounds of 1947," says Guneeta Singh Bhalla.

"This is our inaugural year of the event, so we have capped the attendance at 1000 runners.  We hope to grow the event, and hence community awareness of this history, in the coming years," notes Mohit Gupta, a scholar turned event organizer with The 1947 Partition Archive.

Visit their website to learn more:  https://in.1947partitionarchive.org/1947run-Gurgaon



Tags assigned to this article:
marathon Guneeta Bhalla Partition Archive

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