Welcome to my fundraising page! This year I am taking up the challenge to do 3M Half Marathon on Jan 29th, followed by the Austin Half Marathon on Feb 19th, 2012 in Austin, Texas and Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Marathon on March 25, 2012 in Dallas, TX.
Why am I running ?
I am doing this to raise money so that I make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged in India. The money I raise goes towards the projects supported by Asha for Education, Austin Chapter. Asha for Education is a zero-overhead, volunteer-driven organization that supports education projects in India in the belief that education is a critical requisite for socio-economic change.
Every year I visit Khushboo Welfare Society, a school for children with mental disability in Gurgaon supported by Asha Austin. Khushboo not only provides free therapy as part of early intervention to any special child that is brought to the school but also teaches the same child basic life skills through a very structured program. As the child becomes a teenager, based on his/her ability he/she is given vocational training so that he/she can become independent not only at home but earn a living too. My site visit reports are available on Khusboo’s project page – Dec 2010 (click here), Jan 2010 (click here), Dec 2008 (click here). There is also a beautiful movie made on Khushboo that won AMI award in 2010. If you get a chance do watch it (click here) !
Last year, I visited Humana’s School for children of migrant workers in Ghaziabad for the first time, which is another school supported by Asha Austin. The school is unique in the sense that it is meant to educate children of migrant workers, who normally are not eligible to go to local government schools because their parents do not have a permanent address in Delhi. The school not only teaches these children 1st to 3rd grade curriculum through a unique multi-grade multi-level teaching system but also tries to get them into the local government schools by arranging for necessary paperwork. My site visit reports are available on Humana School’s project page – Dec 2010 (click here).
There are more projects like these that Asha Austin supports – some in towns and some in villages – spread pretty much all over India. You can watch this video on Youtube to learn about Asha Austin in 5 mins 🙂 or go the Asha Austin projects page and read about them. I think Asha Austin is doing a great job in bringing hope through education in different parts of India and in different areas of education.
I have trained and completed a marathon in 2007 and a half-marathon with my wife, Bhavna in 2009 as part of Team Asha. Since 2007, I have raised about $4000 for Team Asha. If you have supported me in the past, I am thankful to you and would appreciate your continued support ! This time around it is especially challenging for me since I am trying to make a comeback to long distance running after my injury last year. Running long distances is not an easy thing to do. It requires training and discipline on one’s part for 4-6 months. Despite that you may get injured due to reasons beyond your control. After having tried everything last year, I finally found out that it was my shoe that was the cause behind the injury. I never suspected this because I got it custom fitted in a running store. But by then it was too late, I had already missed my target race :(. Though it was quite disheartening for me, it was a good lesson learnt ! I am hoping that this time around with support from friends, family and coaches, I would be able to successfully finish 3 back-to-back half marathons and also reach my fundraising goal of $1310.
Here is a preview as to what I do during a week as part of my training with Austin Fit.
Sunday – Rest (sleep … zzzzzz….)
Monday – Easy Run (typically 3-4 mile run)
Tuesday – Track Workout (typically 12 laps on track)
Wednesday – Core Workout (working out important support muscles)
Thursday – Hill Workout/Easy Run (Strengthening your legs to handle hills)
Friday – Rest (no late night movies, parties 🙁 ! )
Please consider donating to the cause that I have been part of for 4 years now. No amount is too small. Most companies match donations to Asha for Educations so even a small amount can become significant. Please contact me if you want more information on Company Matching.