Running riot.  In the best way possible

Running riot. In the best way possible

When a Delhi-based non-running friend sends news of a Darjeeling running group…well, you just know it has to be shared here :)

Sonam Dubal – a fabulous, brilliant designer, for those of you who might not know his name – sent me this info about a group of runners in Darjeeling who are coming here to Delhi for tomorrow’s Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon.

Here, read about this group:

Team RUN RIOT runs to motivate the youth in Delhi at the Vedanta Delhi Half Marathon 

Life in small towns has so many advantages. We know most people in small towns live a relatively relaxed, easy paced life. However, with technological advancements, high level of conveniences and sedentary lifestyle have led to an increase in health issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high uric acid and slowly declining mental health amongst the working population; that has added to an additional household pressure of high healthcare costs.

Here in Darjeeling, some locals got together and formed a loose unorganized fitness group to address this problem using minimum input with hopes to get maximum results. Thus, evolved RUN R.I.O.T., which is an acronym for Running Is Our Therapy. 

The group comprises members from 17 to 55+ years of age, mixed genders, stroke survivors and members with varied fitness levels who meet and RUN anywhere between 5 Kms to 40 Kms a day in the mornings and remain fit, healthy and mentally agile. The positive health difference it has made to the group members is unimaginable and they want this message to spread across India.

I found this interesting, encouraging – but also a wee bit sad.

One tends to think that it is the pressure of living in a big city that leads to stress and an unhealthy lifestyle, but clearly there are just as many issues in small towns. The very things that are supposed to make life easier for us are – paradoxically – making it that much more difficult…


Conveniences. For which I assume fast food etc.

And bingo, even though you live in a lovely little town, there are health and lifestyle issues. But it is great news that these Darjeeling folk are tackling these issues by running RIOT. And, as I said earlier, running riot in the nest way possible!

The group sent some info about the runners who will be toeing the line tomorrow and although each and every one has an inspiring personal story, it is Mr. Nishit who deserves a special mention. From a bed-ridden stroke survivor to running 10k a day – bravo!!

Subash Raut is an Inspector in the Armed West Bengal police. He runs to stay fit and meet the demands of his professional life.

Mrs Pasang Bhutia is a single mother of two college going children and works at State Bank of India. Between balancing work and home she finds peace when she gets up every morning at 4 am to run for an hour or more.. her quality time.

Mr Nishit is an inspiration in the region, he is a stroke survivor. He once was completely bed ridden but today manages to run 10K daily and keeps spreading the message of staying fit to as many people he can reach out to. 

He will be doing the virtual run as he got injured during training for this marathon 

Mr Safal helps people at the Grass Root level and finds his peace working for an N.G.O that reaches out to underdeveloped regions and its people. He works with them to assist in enhancing their lives and livelihood. He is an avid runner, enjoys long runs and is passionate about football.

Mr Pemba Dorjee runs a restaurant in Darjeeling and enjoys writing as a hobby. He has embraced jogging for fitness and finds the time to lead underprivileged youths in the art of Calisthenics.

As with any such initiative, you always need good people who believe in you and your goals and, let’s be realistic here, to help fund them. Travel and staying in a big city doesn’t come cheap and this group of dedicated runners has been fortunate to be funded by 2 Goa-based organisations, which all goes to show that health and fitness have no boundaries :)

Dubai-based Chogyal Tshering La, a well wisher and supporter, roped in Sudesh Shankar, the Hospitality Director of the boutique Yu Hotel in Goa, and  Mr Jyorden Mishra, Managing Director of Spearhead Intersearch, who both liked the concept and were aligned with the group’s goals of promoting health and fitness, and were happy for them to start a health movement in India. 

Here’s wishing the Run RIOT group a riotous time in Delhi and at the race tomorrow, and I hope their initiative grows and helps more people deal with the changing scenario in Darjeeling and other towns in India.


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