A 33-year-old marathon runner from Delhi is on a unique mission, one that combines immense physical strength and a wish to bring people of the country together. To accomplish this mission, Sufiya Sufee will run 4000 kilometers from Kashmir to Kanyakumari in 100 days.
Running across the length of the country, Sufiya hopes to a spread the message of unity wherever she goes. She has already crossed 11 states, 25 cities and thousands of villages along her route. NDTV caught up with her as she reached Mumbai en route to Kanyakumari. Covering 4,000 kilometers in 100 days means Sufiya will run a full marathon everyday.
"My message is very important. There is so much hate being spread on social media. I thought this run will be a good way to counter that," she told NDTV. The organisers of Sufiya's ultra-marathon say her message is HOPE: Humanity, Oneness, Peace and Equality.
Sufiya's marathon run started on 25th April. Since then, she has crossed Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. She says she has put all her savings into this mammoth project and is now considering crowdfunding.
A Limca record holder, Sufiya has earlier covered 720 km in 15 days. She started long distance running for physical fitness and says it has now become her passion. She has even quit her job as ground handler with Air India to focus on running full-time.
In spite of her tremendous physical strength, the marathon runs take a toll on Sufiya's health. An injury had sent her to the hospital and delayed her run by three days. "When I was in the hospital, I was worried about how I would complete my mission. There was a lot of traffic on my route and the stress of it all caused my body to collapse. But I recovered and I have managed to come this far," she said.