Express News Service: A 10-year-old boy and his 73-year-old grandmother will take part in TCS World 10K, a marathon to be held in the city this Monday, to raise funds to start a science college in rural Gujarat.
India Cares Foundation, the charity partner of the marathon, will distribute the funds raised to 101 registered NGOs. Among them is Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care, which is trying to build a science college that would benefit the villages of Gujarat.
Aum and Priyam Desai will be the youngest and oldest participants respectively at the event this year. They have signed up for the Majja Run of 5.7 km and have chosen to contribute to the NGO, as they are devotees of its founder Gurudev Pujyashri Rakeshbhai.
Aum says, “I am happy that I will be helping a lot of people. last year too, I had participated in the marathon along with my cousin. He raise funds and I was motivated to do the same.”
He loves playing football and cricket and says he looks forward to running with his friends and family.
Aum has already raised `13,15,000 through a lemonade stall he set up along with his brother, at a park near his residence in Kumarapark.
His mother Payal says, “Other I-Care champions have conducted yoga classes and sold cupcakes and snacks to raise funds. We had pledged to raise `5 lakh. But Aum has raised more than `13 lakh. We are very happy.”
She says aspiring students aspiring to higher education are forced to drop out due to the lack of institutes.
“There is no college for 238 villages in rural Gujarat. Students are forced to drop out as they would otherwise have to walk for 40 km to a college. The funds will make the lives of those villagers better,” she adds.
Priyam believes that age is no limit when it comes to working for a cause. This will be her first ever marathon. She says, “I walk every morning in the garden. I am diabetic and I know I can only walk for five kilometres.”
She admits that her grandsons’ energy motivated her to sign up for the marathon. “I made calls to my cousins, relatives and friends in India and US and raised `5 lakh,” she adds.