No Men-Only Women! 600 Plus Women Clad in Sarees take part in 2nd Saree Walk & Run 2019
Mangaluru: Being a lazy Sunday, while most people were still in bed, but nearly 600 plus women got up early, adorned themselves in glittering sarees, some looking gorgeous in their make-up and jewellery, assembled near Mahatma Gandhi Park-Mannagudda, Mangaluru by 6 am Sunday 29 September morning, to take part in the 2nd Saree Walk & Run 2019 event, organized by Medimade Solutions, in association with Vegmanthra, Parivarthan Charitable Trust, Mangalorean.com, Vijaya Karnataka Newspaper, Lions Clubs, Inner Wheel Club, KMC Hospitals, LG (Life’s Good) India, Apollo Health Insurance and others. The Saree Run was an Awareness Run For Women To Embrace Fitness By Breaking Stereotypes!
Yes, Saree is the tradition Indian outfit, which accentuates the beauty of Indian women of all ages and forms. Whether it is about any festival occasion or wedding occasion, you can go with these beautiful outfits to look the most elegant and beautiful. This outfit has now got global recognition, with many international celebrities endorsing it by wearing saree on international events. Sarees are a hot favorite among Indian celebrities too, in addition to being the staple outfit of the common woman in the country. The market is flooded with a large number of saree brands, which specialize in diverse varieties such as cotton, silk, net, georgette, chiffon and many more designer sarees. In the Indian tradition and culture, saree has always been a special costume that women love to wear regularly and some special functions.
And this morning, we saw these pretty women all attired in colorful sarees, not for any festive or wedding occasion, but to Walk & Run- sounds strange but true! The legacy and love of every Indian woman for Sarees is undeniable. Fitness is a choice that doesn’t depend on your selection of clothing! Through The Saree Run, the organizers intended to emphasize that running is for everyone. You can balance your life and take care of your personal well being in a saree- and that’s exactly what these women did this morning, by breaking some barriers and having some fun too, they all brought their unstoppable spirit to the sport of running, clad exclusively in sarees. Dressed in colorful sarees, you’d never think that these women were actually there to run or walk two kilometers early in the morning- But that’s exactly what was happening. Prior to the walk and run, they warmed up with a dance/exercise session choreographed by Easi-Fit Club and Focal Zone group.
The 2nd Saree Walk & Run was inaugurated by Ms Gayathri Nayak- Deputy Commissioner, Mangaluru City Corporation; along with Ms Asha Jyothi Rai-President of Asare Charitable Trust; Ms Soujanya Hegde- a celebrity and winner of ‘Mrs. Popular’ at ‘Haute Monde Mrs. India Worldwide 2017’ ; Ms Tanuja Pawar-Sandalwood Actress; and Ms Sudheeksha Kiran- the ‘Mrs Mangaluru 2017 and Mrs India Top Model 2019. Addressing the audience Ms Gayathri Nayak said, “This is indeed a great opportunity for women to walk and run irrespective of age, for a healthy lifestyle. Events like these will surely encourage women to come forward and unleash their talents. My compliments to the organizers for this unique event, and to all the women for taking up the gauntlet to participate in this event”.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, one of the organizers, Rajesh of Medimade Solutions said, “This is an awareness programme on keeping oneself healthy and fit because keeping fit is very important for women as well. There is a feeling among most women that only a certain type of dress should be worn during exercise. To let women know that even wearing a saree it is possible to run or exercise, we had planned this “Saree Walk and run”. I am happy to note that over 600 women of all ages had joined in this event, to make it a successful venture”.
Truly this event was to create awareness and encourage women to break the stigma over traditional attire and fitness. The aim was to bridge the gap between their social obligations and personal need for fitness and self-empowerment. The idea was to encourage women to take up running and show that one could do it while wearing a saree. By doing so, they take charge of their health while overcoming any social restriction they have in terms of clothing.
“This was my first saree run and positive experience. It was great to see women come together to celebrate fitness while having their own unique style of draping it,” gushes Ms Preethi Shetty, an entrepreneur. “Here, one is not bound to wear different sportswear, instead, we could freely participate in sarees,” said Senior citizen Ms Mary Pinto, a homemaker and grandma of nine grandkids, who was joined by two of her grandkids.
Women in their sarees waved at onlookers as their 2 km Walk & Run took away the limelight on a Sunday morning. Ms Sushma K Raj, a teacher by profession said, “When I started running four years ago, there was no one to guide me or to tell me that its fine to exercise and be comfortable in your daily wear Churidhar or saree. I saw everyone had switched to western sports outfits and shoes and I shopped for some running clothes. I started with oversized t-shirts and pants as I was not comfortable with shapely clothes and was afraid of how I would be perceived by family and others watching me run”. She adds that sports have taught her many life lessons, and given her the much-needed confidence to slide in any form of clothing.
But unlike Sushma, a lot of women are apprehensive to wear a tracksuit or shorts for their workout regime. As a teacher, Sushma shares that such initiatives catalyse a change of mindset in society and encourage women to not be afraid of how they are perceived when they run. While training women and underprivileged children for overall fitness throughout the year, the only clothing some of them had was a Churidar or saree, so we switched to Indian outfits and chappals ourselves during these walking sessions, she adds.!
Participation certificates and medals were given to all the participants. Prizes were distributed to those dressed in Traditional saree, individual woman and group, the slogan on fitness and Saree Walk & Run group with the largest member of participants. Lions Club of Mangalore won the Best Club with a Large Number of walkers, and Canara Primary School Teachers/staff won Highest registration in Institution category; in the hospital category with highest participants, the prize went to A J Hospital. Rizwan compered the event. When you see a woman walking on the roads in a saree, you appreciate the handloom/silk that she is flaunting. A saree has the ability to transform from casual to formal and be comfortable and stylish at the same time! It is a liberating outfit. Running in a saree is a tribute to women who take up modern roles and still have the courage to uphold traditions and culture. Through this Saree Run, the organizers intended to empower and encourage women to take part in the Saree run by draping our rich and vibrant culture around them!