44-year-old Jayanthi Sampath Kumar ran the 42-km-long Hyderabad marathon on Sunday, 20 August clad in a saree. She grabbed the spotlight much before crossing the finish line and also managed to cover the entire 42-km stretch.
Complete with sandals and a bindi on her forehead, in the garb of the traditional Indian woman, Sampath competed against 20,000 other runners and covered the whole distance.
According to a report by Deccan Chronicle, she said, “I want to promote handloom and encourage women. This is a statement of my support. I am a cyclist and ride very often, and notice a lot of plastic pollution happening around us.” She further added that she is very keen to curb and oppose this. “For that, may be I should run in a saree made of plastic wrappers people throw,” she said.
Sampath is a source of inspiration for all women. She looked comfortable in her traditional saree and further said that she wished to run the marathon barefoot, but the stones hurt her and due to which she had to opt for simple sandals to help her.
When Sampath was asked to share her experience, she said, “It was a great experience! And yes, many people were curious and they also wanted to take selfies with me.”
In spite of this, a 27-year-old, Uday Bhaskar Dandamudi also wished to be a part of the marathon in a similar manner. He was dressed in a dhoti and accompanied Sampath in her handloom journey.
Both Bhaskar and Sampath have known each other because of their mutual interest in cycling. Bhaskar, who finished his run in a little over five hours and 15 minutes, discerns, “Running with a dhoti was comfortable, except when there was the wind! It blows like a balloon.”
People appreciated Sampath’s courage and took it to the twitter as well.
Sampath has applied to win the title to have run the ‘fastest marathon in a saree.’ Her next step is to enter the Guinness Book of World Records. “I informed them about my attempt, and I am waiting to submit the evidence, which will come in the form of certificate that the event organisers will provide,” she stated, adding that she had a cycle marshal helping her in documenting the evidence of finishing the marathon under five hours.
The Logical Indian community congratulates Jayanti Kumar Sampath and salutes her courage and enthusiasm for bringing a change in the mindset of the society. Women like her, who go against the gender stereotypes to make a strong point, are an inspiration to the society.