What do most of us do? Monday to Friday, slog inside a highly sophisticated, well ventilated, comfort stricken environment and all we long for is the 2-day rest period that comes after the most endeared Friday. Well, let’s not stereotype people into that zone. Because people like Raaj are exceptions that the world would never want to miss knowing about.
A Radio Jockey who spends his weekdays lending his enthusiasm and spreading it across the Hustle & Bustle of Bangalore from the Namm Radio station, Raaj is just not about the voice behind the station but the voice that spreads awareness about social causes through Marathons and Runs. One might want to know why he picked Marathons as a medium to spread social awareness and the answer lies in his love for Sports since he were a kid. A Kabaddi and Kho-Kho captain back then in school, Raaj was always running for medals and honour. But the “Run for Honour” later turned into the “Run for Social Causes”.
In May 2005, the Bengaluru city had its first ever marathon organised by Lipton. Raaj recalls it to be the first marathon he participated in back then. But today, there are a minimum of at least 2 runs or marathons happening every week in the city. With increase in population, the number of people participating in the events has considerably increased.
Run for life, Run for a cause
Raaj is not just any other participant at the Marathons. His main intention is to spread awareness about really disturbing social causes through events. “Run in costume”, an initiative that creates awareness, features Raaj running in a costume that reflects any incident that requires people’s attention. In a recent run, Raaj was featured in a costume that showed a body split into two halves. We quiz him on why he chose this costume and he says,
Last year I put on a costume that depicted a body split into two halves. This idea was born when I heard about Harish Nanjappa, who met with a gruesome accident on Tumkur road, where his body was split into two. I wanted to drive home the idea of organ donation and I went ahead with it.
This was not the first time that Raaj had come up with an idea like this. There were few other instances where he dressed up like a headless ghost. This way he feels it is easier for the message to reach out to people.
Doing a single run is highly exhaustive and the effects last through the entire week, how does he manage this routine every week? Well, even we were surprised just like you. But Raaj loves doing his job, oh wait, he doesn’t consider his “job” as a “job” but with full of passion.
Being a Radio Jockey is you get to have fun all the time. I don’t remember getting tired of having worked in the last 10 years. If you love your job, then you don’t really complain and I have never really complained about my job.
Since Raaj participates mostly in the “Run in costume” Marathon category, there should always be someone around him to help with the costumes. His colleagues have backed him up during every run and help him get dressed before the event. All throughout his stint with Radio Mirchi and Red FM, Raaj received humongous support from friends, colleagues and senior professionals. They often considered it as a pride when one of their employees was actively involved in a social cause.
A Corporate should never discourage its employees for taking up sports or marathons. Every CEO should support and encourage his/her employees to run more.
says Raaj, who feels Running is an activity of greater community bonding. Why should people run more? He is of the opinion that Running is more fun when compared to the boring sessions at the gym. You could also bring in a gang of friends or colleagues to the fun runs and make the most of it. Running in Bangalore has evolved to a huge extent that Long distance runners have started forming groups namely Jainagar Jaguars, Trailblazers, etc. Sometimes you could also witness scenes where amputees and cancer survivors also take it to the field to spread awareness.
The Spark of Awareness
Raaj has been a part of various Marathons happening across the country for the past 12 years. Where did he draw his biggest inspiration of running Marathons for a cause from? When he visited Mumbai once, he came across physically challenged heroes and women draped in sarees, striving their best and completing the run. This triggered his self, which pushed him further to run many such Marathons in the future imparting a strong social message.
Don’t start with long marathons. Start with a short, fun run and proceed further. If you are looking for some medical advice and fitness training before taking your first marathon, there are a lot of people who offer free services. Nobody ever says ‘No’.
This is his advice to all the newbie Marathon runners taking their first run ever. Raaj is not only a “Marathon guy”. He also trains in long jump, 100m run, 200m run at Sree Kanteerava Stadium under an Asian games participant. He is also looking forward to participate in competitive tournaments. Apart from athletics, he also cherishes Rock climbing at the Kanteerava stadium. An adventure sport lover himself, he has done a basic course in Skiing and is planning on taking the advanced course as well.
If you ever come across a Marathon in Bangalore, you can see this guy either running or hosting this event. Because as for Raaj, “A Sunday morning it’s always a run“.
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