Informal air pervades Run for Unity in Mumbai

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 01 November 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: An air of festivity prevailed over Marine Drive Friday morning. Thousands of students, senior citizens and volunteers joined the first ever 'Run for Unity' along the beachfront at 8.00am.

The nationwide event commemorates the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel which falls October 31. The day will be celebrated annually as Rashtriya Ekta Divas. Prime minister Narendra Modi who looks up to Sardar as the Lohpurush or Iron Man is building a tall statue of the leader in Gujarat. It was Sardar Patel who had integrated disparate princely states to form the Union of India.

On Friday Devendra Fadnavis led the event as chief minister designate before taking oath at Wankhede Stadium later in the evening. Governor C V Rao administered the pledge of unity to the gathering.

Union Minister for information & broadcasting and environment Prakash Javadekar, energy minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state for food and consumer affairs Rao Saheb Danve mingled freely with the runners without a care for security or protocol.

Chief secretary Swadheen Kshatriya, civic commissioner Sitaram Kunte, state director general of police Sanjeev Dayal and mayor Snehal Ambekar also participated in the run.

The city collectorate had invited students, NSS volunteers, women's self-help groups, corporate leaders and citizen's associations.

"It was a refreshing change to see ministers and bureaucrats ask for T-shirts and caps and wear them on stage. It was a classless event where commoners interacted freely with senior officials. That is the essence of unity after all," said Indrani Malkani, trustee of VCan (V Citizens Action Network). VCan was among the groups invited by the Collectorate, and drafted 50 runners within two days. for Unity mumbai,Run for Unity,prime minister Narendra Modi,Lohpurush,Devendra Fadnavis

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