Australian marathon runner sets off on Spirit of India run

New Delhi, Jan.26 (ANI): Australian ultra-marathon runner and former Member of Parliament Pat Farmer set off on a 4,600-kilometer-long run on Tuesday from Kanyakumari to Kashmir.

Farmer’s “Spirit of India” run aims to raise funds for the education of Indian girls and to further cement India and Australia ties, a statement issued by the Ministry of Tourism said.

Farmer began his endeavor “with a view to creating awareness of India as a Must Experience destination for travellers from Australia … and raising funds for education of girl child,” it added.

Farmer is being accompanied by a television crew that will prepare a documentary to be screened in Australia.

On December 7, 2015, Australian High Commissioner Pat Suckling had said, “This run by a remarkable Australian known for his endurance abilities is yet another step in strengthening relations between our two countries, particularly people-to-people links.”

“India’s culture and colour are admired by Australians. The country’s rich diversity will be captured by a film crew as Pat runs the length of India, allowing us to see and share his experiences,” he added.

Mr.Farmer had then said that his aim through the run is to promote goodwill, friendship and trade between Australia and India, while highlighting and raising funds for girls’ education in India through Mahindra’s Nanhi Kali initiative.

“Young girls grow up to be the mothers of the next generation. They are the first educators to their children and I believe every girl should have access to basic literacy skills as education is the way to change their world and ours,” Mr. Farmer said.

Sponsor Adani said it was also proud to partner with Mr. Farmer to support girls’ education.

“The Adani Group is committed to improve the quality of education through its programs for free education and other initiatives to improve the girl child enrolment ratio. And with Pat and Adani showcasing India’s diversity, we endeavour to bring both countries closer culturally,” said Captain Sandeep Mehta, CEO of Adani Ports, Australia.

Anand Mahindra, Chairman of Mahindra Group, said the group was delighted to support Mr Farmer during his run.

“The Mahindra Group is strongly committed to the cause of girl child education with our Nanhi Kali initiative educating over 100,000 girls across India. We wish Pat the very best during his run which will help to strengthen the already strong ties between India and Australia,” Mr. Mahindra said.

A former parliamentarian, Mr.Farmer was Parliamentary Secretary for Education, Science and Training from 2004 to 2007. In 2011-12, he ran from the North to the South Pole and raised more than A$100,000 for Red Cross International’s clean water programs.

In 2014, he ran more than 1300 km in two weeks through the Middle East to raise money and awareness for peace initiatives in the region. (ANI)

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