New Delhi [India], Mar 11 (ANI): Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh and cricketer Gautam Gambhir attended the first edition of a special marathon 'Soldierathon' here on Sunday.
Soldierathon aims to raise funds which will go towards welfare of soldiers and their families.
With over 6,000 participants, the marathon began from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and was held in four categories - 10km, 5km, 3km and wheelchair categories.
The proceeds from the event will be donated to Indian Army's Artificial Limb Centre (ALC), for differently abled/wounded soldiers to help them acquire state-of-the-art prosthesis at the Paraplegic Rehabilitation Centre, Pune, and for the education of martyrs' children.
"We owe a lot to our soldiers, Soldierathon is for all the soldiers - those that are among us, and those that have sacrificed for the country, I'll try and do a half-marathon," said Kargil war veteran and India's first blade runner, Major DP Singh.
In honour of his brother, Captain Sajjan Malik, Kirti Chakra, 10 Para (Special Forces) who was martyred in Kashmir fighting terrorists, Mahendra Malik from Rajasthan will run in the marathon.
Other ambassadors who graced the event include recipients of the nation's highest military award, the Param Vir Chakra, Honorary Capt Bana Singh, Sub Major Yogendra Yadav (Kargil War), Sub Sanjay Singh (Kargil War).
Fever 104 Bharat Positive campaign ambassador and Captain Shalini Singh, wife of Kirti Chakra Major Bhadauria was also there in the marathon run.
The run was also witnessed by cricketer Mohammad Kaif and Actor Varun Sood.
Speaking at the event, Kaif said "Our soldiers guide the borders of the nation and put their lives on danger, I have come here in respect of the soldiers. This is the least we can do for them".
"I have run a lot on the cricket grounds, but this is the first time that I have run among the soldiers. So this was very interesting. When I interacted with people here, I came to know that people have come here from outside the country as well," he added.
Gambhir also expressed his views, saying "The energy and the amount of people we see here on a Sunday morning shows that this event will be a massive success in the future. I would like to request all the people to come and participate in the event as this is the first time that as common people we can do something for the soldiers".
"Soldiers have always stood out for us and have done everything possible to ensure the safety of the country so the only way we can give it back to them is by showing our support to such events", he told media. (ANI)