Will the Chambal Marathon Amplify Regional Voices in this Election Year?

With the marathon coinciding with an election year in 2024, there is hopeful anticipation that it will contribute to placing the region's concerns at the forefront of political discourse and action.
Originating in 2021 with the theme "Run for a Better Marathon," followed by subsequent themes, this year's marathon centers around the theme "Run for Chambal Manifesto."
Originating in 2021 with the theme "Run for a Better Marathon," followed by subsequent themes, this year's marathon centers around the theme "Run for Chambal Manifesto." (File Pic)

Lucknow- The Chambal Marathon, an annual event organized by the Chambal Museum, is set to embark on its fourth edition on Sunday, January 14, showcasing a significant platform that extends beyond a mere long-distance race. Originating in 2021 with the theme "Run for a Better Marathon," followed by subsequent themes like "Sprint Chambal" and "Chambal Regiment," this year's marathon centers around the theme "Run for Chambal Manifesto." More than a race, this marathon serves as a rallying cry for addressing the longstanding issues faced by the Chambal region, emphasizing key demands outlined in the Chambal Manifesto released in 2019.

The 2024 Chambal Marathon will kick off at 8 am from Panchnad, starting at the Chambal Museum in Uttar Pradesh. The marathon route, spanning 42.195 kilometers, will weave through three cities – Auraiya, Etawah, and Jalaun – encapsulating the essence of Chambal's unique confluence of five rivers: Chambal, Sind, Yamuna, and Kwari.

Film Maker Shah Alam Rana, the organizer of the Chambal Marathon, shared insights with The Mooknayak, stating that registration for the event commenced on January 9, with 63 candidates from various states registering their names by the following Saturday. He emphasized that the marathon doesn't entertain political involvement, ensuring a focus on the cause rather than external influences. Importantly, the event abstains from traditional signals like the "green flag" or "gun shot" to commence the race, steering clear of Chambal's historical association with a gun culture.

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

The Run for Chambal Manifesto

The thematic focus of this year's marathon, "Run for Chambal Manifesto," aims to draw attention to the crucial demands outlined in the Chambal Manifesto of 2019. This comprehensive document, comprising a total of 26 demands, covers a vast expanse across three states: Uttar Pradesh (Auraiya, Etawah, Jalaun, Agra), Madhya Pradesh (Bhind, Muraina), and Rajasthan (Dholpur).

(File Photo)
(File Photo)

Key Demands of Chambal Manifesto:

  • Address basic services in Chambal, establishing a Chambal commission for this purpose.

  • Preserve cultural heritage by developing Chambal as a tourist destination through organized cultural programs.

  • Promote Chambal's culture through folk music initiatives.

  • Establish a "Chambal Development Board" through a special Chambal package.

  • Consult the people of Chambal for the development of the "Chambal Expressway."

  • End the practice of manual scavenging prevalent in the area.

  • Establish a "Chambal Film City," allocating 30% of its resources for the development of the region.

  • Establish digital libraries and colleges in the name of freedom fighters and martyrs from the Indian Army belonging to the Chambal region.

  • Provide land lease for the landless people in the region.

  • Establish "Chambhal Bhawans" in all metros, including Delhi, to facilitate the stay of candidates appearing for competitive exams.

  • Conduct cultural sensitization programs against casteism and untouchability, addressing the rampant untouchability and Dalit atrocity in the region.

  • Implement the proposal of the "Chambal Regiment" in the Indian Army, as passed by the Defence committee of the Indian Parliament in 2012.

As the Chambal Marathon gears up for its fourth edition, it serves not only as a physical challenge but also as a powerful platform to address the pressing issues faced by the Chambal region. The amalgamation of sport, activism, and community engagement emphasizes the transformative potential of such events in advocating for regional development and social change.

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