Mumbai: Man rings in 30th birthday with 100-km run to help underprivileged kids

Aug 21, 2015, 13:00 IST | Ankoor Anvekar

The software engineer, Mehul Ved, and his friends have collected almost Rs 90,000 to donate to Magic Bus that provides local community role models to children

Throwing a party for friends and relatives, buying something for oneself, or going on holiday, is everyone’s idea of celebrating their birthdays.

But for Mehul Ved, it meant doing something different. This year on his 30th, the software engineer from Marine Lines ran 100 kilometres from the Gateway of India to Lonavla, to support 100 underprivileged children for their education.

Mehul, who has been participating in marathons and cycling events for six years, decided to run for a social cause on his birthday that falls on August 17. For this he approached a city-based NGO called Magic Bus — that works for underprivileged children.

Ved’s goal is to raise R1.5 lakh till September 15 so that he and his friends can support the 100 kids.
Ved’s goal is to raise Rs 1.5 lakh till September 15 so that he and his friends can support the 100 kids. 

Speaking to mid-day he said, “Every year, I gift myself something that will help me better myself through the next one year and beyond. As this was my 30th birthday, I decided to take up a cause. The closest thing to my heart is children and their education. There are so many children out there who do not get an opportunity to go to school or to pursue their dreams. The thought pains me and hence I decided to do something for them.” He and his friends have collected money to donate toward the education of 100 such children.

Ved with friends who supported him through the run.
Ved with friends who supported him through the run.

The run
Mehul started his run on August 16 from Gateway of India at 5 am. Taking the old Mumbai-Pune highway he covered the distance of 100 km in 21 hours and reached Lonavla at 2 am on August 17. In the entire run Mehul took four major breaks. “I took breaks in between to rest and have snacks. In the breaks I used to co-ordinate with my friends stationed at various locations,” he added.

Raising funds
With the help of Magic Bus and his friends Mehul started an awareness campaign on Twitter a day before his run. “The campaign will last till September 15 and until now we have managed to raise close to Rs 90,000. However our goal is to generate at least Rs 1.5 lakh so that we can support basic education of over 100 children,” Mehul said. Bringing a ray of hope in others’ lives was the best possible way I could celebrate my birthday,” he added.

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Graphic: Uday Mohite

1 - Starts at Gateway of India 5.00 AM (August 16) 
2 - Reaches Deonar 7.45 AM
3-  Crosses Kalamboli (Navi Mumbai) 12.30 PM
4 - Reaches Khopoli (using Old Mumbai-Pune Highway) at 11.30 PM 
5 - At Bhor Ghat  12.00 AM (August 17)
6 - Reaches Lonavla 2.00 AM

Magic Bus

The Magic Bus, founded in 1999, is a non-profit organisation working with 2,50,000 children and 8,000 volunteers from marginalised communities. It provides local community role models to children. These mentors ensure equal access to education, health services and social and emotional skills.

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