Hut Bay, Dec. 24: A maiden Bharat Nirman Marathon was flagged off from R K Pur market on Sunday as part of the five day long Bharat Nirman Public Information Campaign. The Pradhan of R K Pur Panchayat, Asamanjan Haldar flagged off the half Marathon covering 21 kms. early morning amidst a large number of gathering enjoying the chilled weather and drizzling.

The picturesque village, R K Pur witnessed such a Marathon with more than 100 participants for the first time in its history. This Marathon has been organized on the theme “Taking Rural India forward” with the messages on the significant role of Central flagship programmes in achieving the goal of Bharat Nirman. A number of defence personnel also took part in this Marathon along with the tribals and local people.  Most of the runners maintained their speed at proper level throughout the length of the race. Owing to favourable weather condition, they could complete the Maraton in lesser time than expected.

All along the route, special assistance booths were set up at a distance of every 5 kms. to offer pure water and any other assistance for the participants. At various vantage points, people in large number gathered on both sides of the road and cheered up the runners. An ambulance also escorted the runners along with the vehicles of the organizers to provide emergency medical assistance. The most beautiful pristine beaches situated on the Marathon’s route, unfolded the scenic beauty of mother nature with ever green rain forests and white sand in the backdrop of blue sea.

The marathon culminated at the Bharat Nirman venue at Hut bay.  A Hut bay resident, Gulab Ram came first by finishing the race in a record time of 33. 14 minutes, while Sushila from Hut bay was declared as winner in the women’s category.  To encourage the participation of more rural women in the race, the race has been conducted as a Mini Marathon of 5.5 kms. with the participation of about 33 women, mostly tribal girls.

The chief guest of the valedictory function, Ratna Kannan awarded the trophies to the winners of this maiden Marathon in Little Andaman.