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Australian marathoner runs 3,000 km in India

By Raju Das

SHILLONG, Nov 6 - Running an astounding 3,000 km across India, Samantha Gash, an Australian, has not only raised Rs 70,86,000, but has also created awareness on

the challenges to access education in India.

The 31-year-old ultra-marathon runner from Melbourne began her mission from the driest deserts in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan to one of the wettest places on Earth here in the State Capital of Meghalaya.

In the process, she crossed eight States and several barriers over a period of 12 weeks. From witnessing the cultural diversity of the country, from West to East, to the several challenges the country faces in terms of education, food, water and health.

�It has been a powerful experience to witness how the smallest things can help. It was also a realisation how much more needs to be done,� Gash said here today.

During her run several runners and walkers from across the globe joined her forming their own teams. They track the distances they have crossed and tried to match it against Gash�s.

She ran under the Run India Campaign. As part of the campaign, Gash visited 18 World Vision India�s Area Development Projects across India to understand some of the challenges the different communities face.

Gash, who is also a passionate advocate for social change, said, �my constant source of motivation was having the perspective that no struggle I have faced in this run would come close to what many people in India experience on a daily basis.�

Stating that it is one thing to �hear about India�s diversity and richness� and quite another experience to live it, she said, �I feel privileged to have been able to run across India and use it as an opportunity to experience how other people lives.�

Meanwhile, Sony Varghese Thomas, Group Director, Public Engagement at World Vision India, said, proceeds Gash raised would fund World Vision�s projects.

Some of these projects include work in the areas of malnutrition, access to water and sanitation, child marriage and gender bias, which all present major obstacles to quality education.

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Australian marathoner runs 3,000 km in India

SHILLONG, Nov 6 - Running an astounding 3,000 km across India, Samantha Gash, an Australian, has not only raised Rs 70,86,000, but has also created awareness on

the challenges to access education in India.

The 31-year-old ultra-marathon runner from Melbourne began her mission from the driest deserts in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan to one of the wettest places on Earth here in the State Capital of Meghalaya.

In the process, she crossed eight States and several barriers over a period of 12 weeks. From witnessing the cultural diversity of the country, from West to East, to the several challenges the country faces in terms of education, food, water and health.

�It has been a powerful experience to witness how the smallest things can help. It was also a realisation how much more needs to be done,� Gash said here today.

During her run several runners and walkers from across the globe joined her forming their own teams. They track the distances they have crossed and tried to match it against Gash�s.

She ran under the Run India Campaign. As part of the campaign, Gash visited 18 World Vision India�s Area Development Projects across India to understand some of the challenges the different communities face.

Gash, who is also a passionate advocate for social change, said, �my constant source of motivation was having the perspective that no struggle I have faced in this run would come close to what many people in India experience on a daily basis.�

Stating that it is one thing to �hear about India�s diversity and richness� and quite another experience to live it, she said, �I feel privileged to have been able to run across India and use it as an opportunity to experience how other people lives.�

Meanwhile, Sony Varghese Thomas, Group Director, Public Engagement at World Vision India, said, proceeds Gash raised would fund World Vision�s projects.

Some of these projects include work in the areas of malnutrition, access to water and sanitation, child marriage and gender bias, which all present major obstacles to quality education.