Breaking Boundaries: The Manipal Marathon 2024 sets a new standard for inclusivity in society

10:59 AM Feb 17, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

The Manipal Marathon 2024, a beacon of inclusivity, recently unfolded with a category dedicated to persons with disabilities, marking a significant stride towards a more inclusive society. In the aftermath of this empowering event, it becomes evident that marathons, with their inherent community spirit and shared challenges, can be instrumental in breaking down societal barriers and fostering genuine inclusion.
Participation in marathons serves as a powerful catalyst for challenging stereotypes and dismantling preconceived notions about disabilities. Actively involving persons with disabilities in mainstream events like marathons not only showcases diverse capabilities but also fosters a more tolerant and accepting society.


The emphasis on endurance and collective achievement creates a platform for individuals with disabilities to showcase resilience and determination, fostering camaraderie among participants and promoting understanding. This communal aspect extends beyond the finish line, leaving a lasting impact on societal attitudes towards inclusivity.

In the context of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Manipal Marathon 2024 contributes significantly to several key objectives. Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-being) is reinforced as participants with disabilities engage in physical activity, promoting overall well-being. Moreover, Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities) takes a step forward as the marathon actively works towards diminishing the gap between differently abled individuals and the rest of society.

The marathon also aligns with Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) by fostering collaboration between organizers, sponsors, and the community to create an inclusive event. By showcasing the capabilities of persons with disabilities, the event encourages partnerships that can lead to the development of more accessible infrastructure, contributing to Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). Dr H S Ballal – Pro Chancellor & President, Academy of General Education, MAHE, Manipal commented, “In essence, the Manipal Marathon 2024 exemplifies the transformative power of inclusivity within societal frameworks. By integrating individuals with disabilities into mainstream events, marathons become catalysts for change, challenging societal norms, and contributing to the achievement of sustainable development goals.

The marathon stands not only as a celebration of physical accomplishment but as a beacon guiding us towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.”


Lt General Dr MD Venkatesh, Vice-Chancellor of MAHE, Manipal said, ”True strength knows no bounds as we came together to witness the incredible spirit and determination of our disabled participants in this marathon. This race is about more than just finishing; it’s about shattering stereotypes, pushing boundaries, and honouring the tenacious human spirit. The strength, resiliency, and steadfast resolve of the people here to follow their aspirations and overcome obstacles is evident in every step they take. As a university dedicated to diversity and inclusivity, we are proud to stand with them and recognize their outstanding accomplishments. Let’s support each other as they push one other to achieve greater things and believe in the potential that lies ahead.”

Dr Sharath Rao, Pro Vice Chancellor – Health Sciences, MAHE, Manipal said, ”Through this marathon, we observed the amazing demonstration of strength, tenacity, and pure perseverance among our specially abled athletes in this marathon. These days, we see people redefining what is possible rather than allowing their impairments to define them. They demonstrate the strength of resiliency in every step, motivating us all to overcome challenges and pursue our greatest goals.”

Dr. G Arun Maiya, Dean, MCHP, said, ”As we came together to participate in this marathon, we celebrate not only the spirit of athleticism but also the values of diversity and inclusion that unite us. MAHE’s Marathon 2024 is a testament to our collective commitment to creating a community where every individual, regardless of background or ability, feels welcomed, valued, and empowered to participate fully.”

Mahantesh G Kivadasannavar, Founder Chairman and Ms. Shika Shetty, Sports Manager – Samarthanam International in a joint statement said, ”The collegiate marathon of today is a potent symbol of solidarity and camaraderie, not merely a race. District administrators are motivated by the commitment and zeal exhibited by participants, organizers, and supporters in equal measure. This event encourages inclusivity, companionship, and a common goal in addition to physical fitness. We applaud the institution for its dedication to fostering wellness and health in our neighbourhood and for offering a venue that unites people from many backgrounds. Let’s keep funding programs like these that improve neighbourhood ties and advance a more contented, healthy society for all.”

Rayan Fernandes, Campaign Director at Dearlife Charitable Foundation, Peer Trainer at Ganga Foundation said, ”The college marathon honouring inclusivity and diversity is proof of the strength of community cohesion. We acknowledge and celebrate the richness that variety adds to our lives by taking part in this event. Witnessing people from many backgrounds together, shattering stereotypes, and promoting inclusivity via athletics is encouraging. In my capacity as district administrator, I’m happy to back programs like these that encourage fairness, dignity, and comprehension among all societal members. Let this marathon be a source of inspiration and hope for a time when inclusivity and diversity are valued.”

More than 300 differently abled people with locomotor disability on wheelchair and visually impaired participants from various part of the country participated in the Manipal Marathon.


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