Saree Run: How women broke social barriers

Saree Run was organised by Jayanagar Jaguars, a running academy based in Bengaluru


The fifth edition of Saree Run held at Malleshwaram 18th cross ground turned out to be a celebration of camaraderie and togetherness; a race where everyone won.

“Anyone can run irrespective of the attire,” said Jaya Sanjay of Jayanagar Jaguars, popularly known as JJs. Over the past eight years, JJs, India’s oldest and largest running group with over 30 centres in five cities, has trained over 7,500 men and women in running. “While many women have broken social barriers and become ardent runners, there is still a section that is hesitant to take up this activity because of the belief that one needs to wear running attire to run,” she said. Saree Run has been a launchpad for such reluctant runners.

Dr Richa Negi, one of the run ambassadors at Saree Run, had no qualms in admitting that she took a friend’s help to drape sari. “It took us about 15 minutes to drape it,” said Negi, a dermatologist and dancer. But the experience of running with 1,700 women was well worth it, said the 27-year-old.

Negi loves running as much as looking at her collection of sarees and admiring them. “My favourite saree is the one my mom gifted me. It was her old saree and I absolutely love it. Sadly, it is back at home and so, I couldn’t wear it for the event.

“I feel saree makes me look elegant. It is the best ethnic outfit to wear,” she said.

Being a woman should not stop you from chasing your dreams, said Kanchan Dinakar, an associate Partner at BSR & Co, as she finished 5k, brimming with a sense of accomplishment. Dinakar finds running liberating and empowering. The highlights of her day included a selfie with RJ Shruti of 92.7 and a chance meeting with her childhood buddies Pratima and Rachna.

Prathibha Rajesh from Malleshwaram, an architect and interior designer, also had a great time bonding with her friends. “I urge more women to step out into the fresh air and run for fitness,” said Rajesh, who has taken part in Pinkathon and Bengaluru Marathon earlier.

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