By OUR STAFF REPORTER
Dehradun, 2 Jun: Doon based student activist group, Making a Difference by Being the Difference (MAD) was joined by DG (Law and Order) Ashok Kumar at the inauguration of the six day MADATHON Festival, here, today. The festival is MAD’s annual event held on its founding day anniversary to generate awareness on rejuvenating the drying streams of Doon Valley.
Beating all previous records, over 10,000 runners turned up for this event. What made this 8 km circular route, beginning from Parade Ground, a challenging cross country race was the unprecedented use of steel glasses only at all the water filling stations along the MADATHON route. MADATHON Festival is celebrated as a zero waste event and the organisation took special care to ensure that not even a single plastic flex was printed for it. All promotional material was prepared on canvas cloth and chart papers and some others using scrap and waste material. This approach was coupled by a conscious decision to completely shun plastic. Around seven stop points were set up on the route and adequate arrangement of steel glasses made to completely shun the use of plastic bottles and to drive home the message of environmental conservation through actual example.
When the race concluded, MAD members distributed refreshments that had been completely prepared by them overnight. This was in accordance with MAD’s declared ideal of pocket money driven activism. MAD members also ensured that, after the event, the Parade Ground was left in spic and span condition. Hundreds of individuals specially registered with MAD to join their weekly Sunday to Sunday activities.
At the end of the race, the winner of this eco friendly endeavour in the male category was Munesh Kumar. The winner in the female category was Radha, while Sandhya Bind was second and Priyanka, third. Though MAD is largely pocket money funded, the cash prizes for the event were sponsored by various organisations.
Paramjit Kakkar from Pramukh NGO, Ashish Garg, Anu Pant, BP Nautiyal, Dr Vineeta Banerjee, Dr KG Behl, Major Onkar Uttarakhandi, Col Rana and several members of the SanyuktNagrik Sangathan also motivated the participants with their words.
MAD members hope that, after a successful start even more Doonites would turn up for the other events of MADATHON 2019, which include a Cultural Evening at Colonel Brown Cambridge School, an Art and Photography Exhibition among several others.
Those present at the Cross Country Race held on Sunday included Founder Abhijay Negi, Swati Singh, Karan Kapoor, Asmita Pant, Shreya Rohilla, Gayatri, Mohit, Utkarsh, Sanat, Satvik Nijhon, Vinod, etc.