Duo to run half a marathon daily for 42 days to honour armed forces

Two friends have found a unique way to pay tribute to Indian soldiers for their sacrifices. Indian Navy Commodore Joginder Chandana and his friend Meenal Kotak are going to run 21.1 km daily for as many as 42 days. Their marathon run started on December 4, the Indian Navy Day.

“It is our way of paying homage to those in the armed forces who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the people who do not even acknowledge their effort. Starting from the Navy Day and going till the Army Day, we will run half a marathon daily. This is the least we can do for the people in the armed forces,” said Kotak, a practising Chartered accountant in Delhi.

Beginning from the SP Marg, the duo covers the embassies in Chanakyapuri, the landmark India Gate, and the famous Race Course Road, before finally heading to south-west Delhi’s Taj Hotel

“Some things in life are intangible. The citizens do not need to give financial support to our soldiers as it is the government’s job. In any case, a soldier cannot be repaid by our ‘Arm-Chair Patriotism’. What they deserve is our love and respect, not only when there is a war, but at other times as well,” said Chandana, currently posted in Delhi.

Even when they are out of station, they do not give their daily run a miss. Kotal, who is currently in Bengaluru, said: “When we are not in Delhi due to professional reasons, we we still keep our mission alive. We can take out a few hours for our soldiers who make our lives safe and secure.”

When queried what can others do to pay a tribute to the armed forces, Chandana said: “We cannot repay a soldier for his sacrifices, but we can make him feel the worth of his sacrifice. We should make him feel that the people he protects are responsible citizens, who shall do their bit for the country, citizens for whom he can give up his life with pride. Just support the soldiers through your thoughts and actions, and, of course, by being a better citizen.”

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