Prime Minister Narendra Modi on said that water conservation should become a mass movement, and hailed organizers of the Vadodara International Marathon (VIM) for their effort to create awareness about the issue.
The ninth edition of the VIM was flagged off on Sunday morning by Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.
In a message to Tejal Amin, chairperson of the VIM, Modi said the endeavour of Vadodara Marathon 2020 to spread awareness about fitness and water conservation “is thoughtful and timely”.
“Fitness of citizens is imperative for a healthy nation,” he said.
“Likewise, the topic of water conservation is of utmost importance,” the prime minister said in the message, adding that water scarcity affects many parts of the country every year, but not even 10 per cent of water received from rains in the entire year is harvested and this should change.
“We need to work together so that water becomes a shared commitment. It is time to make it a jan andolan (mass movement) and conserve water for the present and future generations,” Modi added.
Cleophas Caeppkwony of Kenya won the marahon, finishing in 2 hours, 25 minutes and 10 seconds.
Fellow Kenyans Michael Kipego (2 hours, 29 minutes and 8 seconds) and Isaaz Kemboi (2 hours 32 minutes and 53 seconds) came in second and third.
More thanone lakh runners, including disabled athletes as well as 73 international athletes from 11 countries took part in the marathon.
Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win a medal in Paralympic Games, was the ambassador of the marathon.