When the state was reeling under the political shift, the government having changed after 25 years, the IDIA Sikkim Team decided to bring some cheer to the people of Sikkim by spreading a message of inclusiveness in quality education. On 2nd June 2019, to this end, the IDIA Sikkim Chapter organized a mini marathon with the theme of “Run So That Someone Could Learn” at Titanic Park, Gangtok. The marathon was a fund-raising event with an intention to further spread the word about the work that IDIA does. Before starting the marathon, Mingma Lhamu, Consultant, IDIA, gave a gist about the need of quality education in Sikkim and the work IDIA has been doing in the state.
The marathon was flagged off by the newly appointed Minister of Forest, Environment & Wildlife Management, Mines, Mineral & Geology & Science & Technology Department, Government of Sikkim – Mr. Karma Loday Bhutia. During his speech prior to the commencement of the marathon, Mr Bhutia expressed his pleasure that the marathon was the first event he had attended as a Chief Guest since his appointment, given that he felt that a dialogue on the quality of education in Sikkim was the need of the hour. He also appreciated the work done by IDIA in bringing about inclusiveness in legal education and providing access to underprivileged students to the best legal education in the country. Concluding his speech, Mr. Bhutia requested everyone to come forward to help IDIA.
The night before the event, all the team members from the IDIA Sikkim Chapter were deep in prayer, hoping for a clear sky. Given that the Gangtok weather is completely unpredictable during June. Their prayers were answered, and the day of the marathon started with a beautiful sunny sky. The starting point of the marathon was Titanic Park, M.G Marg, Gangtok and the trail was up to Bakthang Falls and back to the starting point, the total distance covered being approximately 10 kms. The team’s apprehensions about how the event would be received and whether there would be enough participation were proven needless, as nearly 70 people participated in the marathon. The team received spot registrations from a 8 year old kid to a 63 years old on the day of the marathon! There was also a tourist from Meerut, a father running along with his child, and first-time runners who were ecstatic to complete the marathon trail. All in all, the event was a roaring success! The team was able to raise Rs. 26,000/- from the event and all proceeds shall be used towards the education/training of IDIA trainees from North East India.
Now for the winners! Keshav Chettri, Dipen Pradhan and Kiran Subba stood first, second and third respectively amongst the male runners, while Lhamu Sherpa, Srijana Bhandari and Nisha Hangma Subba stood first, second and third respectively amongst the female runners. Senun Lepcha stood first prize in the junior category. The team was so touched and overwhelmed by the 8 year old boy – Chittez Chettri completing the marathon, that he was given a medal too! The team was also very touched by a Senior Advocate – Mr. U. P Sharma completing the marathon and being part of the event.
The idea of organizing the marathon was floated by Nichen, the Deputy Team Leader, Sensitisation, of the IDIA Sikkim Chapter. We started our preparation by approaching various individuals and organizations for support for the marathon. Eventually, we were helped by The Accelerator, Local Café, The Aptech, Maitrya Zimkhana, Café Royale, The Coffee Shop, Bar Association of Sikkim, Sikkim Ornithological Society, Sikkim Chronicle and by Mr. Sonam Pintso Lepcha. We are very grateful for their generous support in making the event a success.
The event ended on a fantastic note when we decided to visit a shelter home with cartons of bananas, biscuits and jalebis from the event. The happiness on the faces of the inhabitants of the shelter home truly made our day and the event – a grand success!
The event was conducted in an environment friendly manner with minimal use of plastic.
The IDIA Sikkim Team would also like to deeply thank Pragya Parameeta, Lakden Basi and Tashi Bhutia for their unconditional support and guidance through out the event.