Hi! Thank you for visiting my page.
I am training to run the Nueces Trail Marathon as part of Team Asha. My target race is on March 6, 2010 at the Camp Eagle park in the beautiful hill country of Texas.
This is an exciting race for me to run. Not only is the park spectacular with it’s numerous hills and beautiful water bodies, it’s also special for me because I volunteered a few days of my time to measuring, mapping and building trails for this race! This is the first year for the race, and it’s great to be a part of something new. It’s also going to be one of the hardest races I’ve run because of all the steep hills on the course. Training for this race has not been easy, with the runs getting longer and harder every week. But I want to do it because I am proud to be a Team Asha runner and it’s for a cause I am deeply passionate about.
I have been working with 2 different projects in Asha for a few years now – an alternative quality education initiative by Gramin Shiksha Kendra (GSK), and a community based rehabilitation program for mentally challenged children run by Rajasthan Mahila Kalyan Mandal (RMKM). Both projects are in relatively underdeveloped rural districts of Rajasthan, India.
The schools run by GSK provide a high quality of education that’s relevant to the local community in order to bring about meaningful socioeconomic change. It is a very thoughtful effort by a few committed and talented educators to make a real and qualitative difference in the lives of the impoverished rural community. They promote learning based on fun and child-centric activities. Teachers employ innovative teaching techniques and educational materials tailored specifically for every child to learn effectively and thoroughly. Local knowledge and cultural expertise is incorporated into the syllabus so that the children have a broad curriculum that they can relate to easily. More importantly, it also grounds the education of the children to the success of the local community. Currently, about 400 children are enjoying an education that sets the standards of quality for all other schools in India.
The incidence of autism, cerebral palsy, stunted mental growth and other learning and mental disabilities is surprisingly high in India. RMKM is the only major organization working on the ground in the Ajmer district for more than 370 children in both urban and rural areas. The community based program involves special educators additionally trained in various therapies (physical, speech, vocational etc) visiting moderately and severely affected children at their homes frequently. These visits also help with sensitizing the communities around the children to the problems and stigmas faced by them. RMKM also runs an inclusive school as part of this project where mentally challenged children study alongside normal children that helps with their social integration.
For these wonderful initiatives to succeed, they need your support! I have pledged to raise $100 for every mile I run in my race. Please contact me for more information on these projects or to sponsor my race and help me reach my fundraising target.