On the 23rd of September, 2018, Manipal witnessed an event which was one of its kind. An event that brought 3000 people from different walks of life together, to fight against one common goal. Spreading awareness about the menace that is Drug Abuse. The ongoing drug abuse cases in Manipal prompted the Udupi District Police to take action. They did so by associating with Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Manipal Runners’ Club, Udupi Press Club, Sports Council of MAHE, Syndicate Bank and Academy of General Education and organized a 5 km Drug Awareness Fun Run.
What sounded like a regular event, turned out to be one of the most successful awareness events that Manipal has ever seen. The event attracted students, parents, professors, school children etc. The event started at 6:15 am with the distribution of free t-shirts for the participants, which was followed by a warm up session. The run was finally flagged off by Mr Laxman Nimbargi, the Superintendent of police and Dr H.S. Bhallal, the Pro Chancellor at 7:40 am from the EDU building. The runners were taken on a 5 km route to explore the scenic educational town, which included popular locations like, end point road, syndicate circle, Venugopal temple, Sir MV road and ended at the EDU building. Throughout the run, the participants were cheered on by enthusiastic volunteers, who also made sure that the runners were well hydrated.
The run was followed by a much needed nutritious breakfast. The event culminated with a short formal function, where all of the sponsors were felicitated and thanked. The Chief Guest for the event was Mr Laxman Nimbargi, the Superintendent of Police in Udupi. The Guests of Honour were Sri BR Hiremath, Deputy Zonal Manager, Syndicate Bank, Mr. Nataraj, Regional Manager, Syndicate Bank, Manipal, Ganesh Prasad Pardelu, President of Udupi District, Working Journalists Association, Mr. Nagaraj Rao, Coordinator, Press Club Udupi, and the Pro Vice chancellor Health Sciences, Dr. Poornima Baliga. The run also put light on some of the talented runners in the town. Mr Mallikarjuna who completed the run first received a token of appreciation. A seven year old boy Nowzan, from Katpati ran the distance in a mere 23 minutes and 41 seconds, he was awarded a medal. A group of differently abled students from Asare took part in the run and a token of appreciation was were awarded to Ms Archana Jaivittal
A hugely successful event which attracted various people, who might be susceptible to falling into the pit of drug abuse and made them more aware about the issue. The event called curtains by 10 with Manipal having done it’s bit in the war against drug abuse with one slogan echoing the streets of Manipal on the Sunday Morning – Say no to drug abuse, and yes to running shoes!