Mumbai : As hosts of the Golden Jubilee Inter IIT Sports Meet, IIT Bombay launched Mashal, the first ever pan IIT social initiative, at Open Air Theatre, IIT Bombay, for the betterment of the primary education scenario in the country.
Renowned actor Shreyas Talpade personally endorsed Mashal and was present at its kick-off during Aquatics Meet, to handover the Inter IIT Torch to the captains of all the IITs, and to assign them the responsibility of conducting Mashal runs at their campus. Mashal was officially launched during the Opening Ceremony of the Aquatics leg of the Inter IIT Sports Meet, on September 30, 2014. The mascot of the Meet is a leopard that goes by the name Chhawa. A model of Chhawa holding the Inter IIT torch was unveiled by the guest of honour Virdhawal Khade, the country’s fastest swimmer.
The first run in the series has been flagged off, and runs at other IITs will follow subsequently. The IIT Bombay student fraternity showed excitement and eagerness to participate in this ‘run for a cause’ and over 1000 students are expected to participate in the mini-marathon.
Shashank Srivastava, General Secretary, Sports Affairs of IIT Bombay, said “We have been organizing long distance running competitions in the institute regularly, but Mashalhas met with an enthusiastic response we haven’t seen before. Athletes and non-athletes alike are going to run for this noble cause.”
Based on the number of people participating, funds will be generated by the sponsors Flipkart and Gionee and donated to Smile Foundation, a national level development organisation, the official charity partner for this initiative. Smile Foundation will utilize these funds in its Mission Education programme supporting primary education of the underprivileged children in our society. The Organizing Committee decided to raise funds through runs which will take place in all 16 IITs. The Inter IIT Torch that symbolizes bringing light into the lives of the children will be sent to all the IITs and the students will run with the torch.
Santanu Mishra, Co- Founder and Executive Trustee, Smile Foundation said, “We believe that unless members of the civil society are involved proactively in the process of development, sustainable change will not happen. Smile Foundation has always strongly felt that this society can be a better place to live in only when each individual works towards a developed society. I would like to thank IIT Bombay along with the whole fraternity for supporting our children.”
Asmit Jain, Events Head of the student organizing committee, said, “Mashal started off as an idea to unite the IITs towards one noble purpose, and with the help of Smile Foundation we are now seeing it materialize on a scale we hadn’t expected before.”