I can call myself a runner. I do half marathons comfortably under sub 2 mark. However full Marathons ( 42 km ) are a different ball game all together. My previous two attempts at running full marathons have resulted once in injury and second time in utter humiliation as I walked instead of running from 30km mark. I decided after the two miserable attempts that I’m too fat/weak/old for all of this and I should be focussing more on short and sweet runs and not risk injury and running altogether.
All of this changed when I met Jyotsna Khatry. At first impression she is your average bubbly “Gol Guppa” gobbling chatterbox living and working in Delhi. Spend more time with her and she starts discussing some serious issues such as child trafficking and domestic servitude. She explains passionately that how rising demands for maid servants, aaya’s and household help in cities like Delhi is leading to children being trafficked from the states like Bihar, Chattisgarh and West bengal. Most of the children are very young and often get abused physically and mentally at the hands of the agents who bring them to Delhi or at the hands of their employers.
Jyotsna wants to put an end to all of this and that’s why she is busy making a documentary on child domestic servitude in India. She has spent last 6 months shooting in various parts of the country often talking to families who are often duped to send their kids to cities to children who have horror stories of abuse to share. She feels a movie like this can lead to awareness about this issue and eventually some policy action by the government.
Jyotsna has completed the shooting of the film on her own steam often using her meagre NGO salary. Now she is at a stage where she needs to final editing and then promotion of the film.
I have decided to stand by Jyotsna on this issue. I will be attempting to run the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013 and under 5 hours. Through my run and the count I will raise money for the documentary film that Jyotsna is working on.
In some sense Jyotsna is exactly at the stage which us runners will recognize as ” Runner’s wall” which happens to some us at about 26-30kms. That is when we need either food or support or something that keeps on carry on. Jyotsna needs that support so that she can finish her documentary.
There are many ways in which you can help.
1) You can sponsor my run by making a donation to Jyotsna Khatry.
2) If you own an editing house or knows anyone who does then you can provide pro bono support to her to finish the editing.
3) You can raise money for her, just like I’m doing.
4) You can raise awareness about the issue and take a pledge that you will never hire underage kids to work in your home no matter how good your intentions are.
Please feel welcomed to do one or all of the above. The issue of child domestic servitude is a serious one and we need many hands and legs to eliminate it.
Its worth the risk and the effort and that’s why come hell or high-water I will be running Standard Chartered Full Marathon 2013 for eliminating “Domestic Child Servitude” in India.
Keep watching this space as I will be sharing more information about the issue and how my runs are happening.