Making Kameshwaram fit


On the 26th of January, 2015, India’s 66th Republic Day, we marked a new mission – to take the culture of ‘keeping fit’ through running, from Indian cities to Indian villages like Kameshwaram and including both women and men. ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ is a maxim in almost all cultures, and since time immemorial men have been encouraged to keep themselves fit at all ages. On the other hand, with respect to women, ‘keeping fit’ through exercise was part of the social culture only in Western countries. Thanks to economic development and globalization, in developing countries with democracy and recognition of women’s rights, more and more women are striving to keep fit. In all Indian metropolitan cities, running has become a means for keeping fit, fostering learning and sharing and friendships. Raji – one of the pillars of Friend In Need India – is an inspiration for all women and especially mothers, grandmothers and would-be grandmothers showing that it is never too late to start running.
Read about her in:…# and the community-organization that is teaching running is ‘Runner’s High’ at

In villages, social culture dictates that in any household where the earnings of men are sufficient, women stay at home. Not working outside means confinement to a very small space and having several hours free every day, which are now mainly used to watch television or socialize. Thus, despite the clean air, wonderful trees and enough food – according to our survey, women suffer from a variety of ailments and often a state of great mental and physical fatigue. We feel that this could be due to not having opportunities for physical exercise – which of course is even further impeded by the traditional form of clothing.
Towards this end, we want to organize two workshops for running in the village: one for school children and one for adult women in the village (but we are not sure if anyone will join in the workshop for adults – still it will be worth trying). If you wish to contribute to this event please go to and drop us an email at Our budget is 1 lakh rupees or INR 100,000 (or 1500 Euros or $1620 USD). This budget will be used to mainly buy shoes, sports accessories like balls for the children and refreshments for the village participants (INR 75,000) and travel and boarding for the selected teachers of ‘running'(INR 25,000). Thanks in advance.

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