Renowned ultra-marathoner Dharmendra Kumar aka Dharma is on a cross-country charity run to promote the cause of Hunger-Free India and spread smiles of nourishment. A passionate runner, he is the co-founder of Bengaluru-based running club Proton Sports.
Dream of a hunger-free India
Dharma will be running across India on the route followed by Shri Guru Nanak Devji when he toured the country for his missionary journeys (Udasiya). He said, “As a part of the 550th birth anniversary celebration of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, I am running his 2 udasis across India. Inspired by Guru Nanak Dev Ji’s message Kirat karo, Naam japo, and Vand Chhako (meaning do your sincere labour, pray to God, and share among needy), I have taken up the cause of Hunger-Free India.”
As of today, Dharma has covered a distance of 2,500 km on foot, alternating between running and walking covering close to 75 km a day. He began his run on Sunday, 17th March 2019, from Sultanpur Lodhi in Punjab.
The run is planned in two phases. In the first phase, he has covered major towns of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, Meghalaya, Bengal, and Odisha. Through this charity run, Dharma has so far raised funds to feed 1 lakh meals. He aims to feed 5 lakh meals to Akshaya Patra beneficiaries in 15,024 schools across 12 States in India.
The second phase will start on June 3, 2019, passing through the major towns of South India, covering more than 5,000 km over a period of 3 months. On his way back to Punjab, Dharma passed through Delhi on the eve of the World Hunger Day to engage with supporters of Akshaya Patra Foundation’s cause.
Dharma added, “I aim to raise funds to feed 1 million children supported by Akshaya Patra. I was surprised at the severity of the hunger crisis in India. With so many people unable to afford a square meal, I think this is one problem that needs immediate attention. Gurudwaras are known for langars and how they feed so many people every day. Drawing parallels from this, I thought a hunger-free India would be an apt cause to associate with. I hope people across the world and especially India will donate generously to this cause.”