A 'backathon' against illiteracy

It was a different experience for the young boys and girls as they walked backwards to raise their voice against illiteracy.

Published: 10th September 2013 10:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th September 2013 10:18 AM   |  A+A-

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It was a different experience for the young boys and girls as they walked backwards to raise their voice against illiteracy. On the occasion of World Literacy Day on Monday, volunteers of Make a Difference (MAD) took part in the ‘backathon’ at Marine Drive walkway.

Nearly 70 of them carefully made their way backwards over a distance of about 100 metres.

At the same time volunteers of MAD in 18 cities across the country also organised ‘backathons’.

Nearly 3,000 youth volunteers, who are part of the non-profit child empowerment organisation walked backwards to promote the cause of ‘pushing back illiteracy’.

A ‘backathon’, unlike the more popular marathon, is an event in which participants walk backward in a uniform fashion. More of a social gathering than a sporting event, the backward walk signifies an intent to push back social evils.

MAD is a platform that empowers youth to make positive social impact in the lives of children at risk in orphanages, street shelters and poor homes. Volunteer profiles range from teachers (who work with a class of 10 children and act as role models), to fundraisers (who organise events that raise funds for children) to placement organisers (who conduct activities to broaden the career horizons of children). At present, nearly 2,000 volunteers reach out to 5,000 children living in shelter, said the volunteers of MAD Kochi.

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