I'm making a difference by raising money for a cause close to my heart. Please support me by donating.
I was the girl who skived the school cross country race...
My story with running only started about 3 years ago, in my late 30s, living a sedentary lifestyle, I couldn't manage 5 minutes of running without feeling dizzy or sick! I downloaded the Couch to 5km app and started running (very occasionally). Failing to achieve the 5km in 8 weeks, I began thinking this running malarkey is not for me, I hung up the trainers. Fast forward 1 year, in 2020, COVID hits, we are all locked in, 30 mins of exercise became a sanctuary between work and home-schooling and I started running once a week. Finally, in June 2020, I managed my first 5km, hurrah! Then in August 2020, we moved to Malaysia. Running stopped, schools are still closed here, not working, stuck in a situation where I have little focus, feeling homesick, not getting anywhere with job searches because the main thing I needed to do was help my youngest daughter with her home-schooling, cook dinner, stay healthy, and repeat... My mental health was struggling with the open-endedness of it all. The Malaysian dream (the kids being in school, me getting to use my Ph.D. knowledge and skills in an exciting new job) was all beginning to feel like an endurance test of my patience and self-worth. COVID-19 was here to stay and one year in Malaysia and I am still not working and schools are still closed. I have found that running has given me a focus to get up before the kids.
In the UK I could run anytime, mid-day, mid-afternoon, just
whenever. Here it gets scorching by 9 am. Running in 32 – 35 degrees is not
fun. It was way too hot if I attempted running between 9am – 6.30pm.
But I persevered with running in the constant humidity and
experimented with the best times to run. I found that squeezing a run-in
before sunrise was the only way. I am now managing about 2-3 runs a week and
5km is my minimum amount for each run. I have decided that the only way I
am going to manage long-distance running is if I have a new motivator
and focus... so although I am bricking it, I have signed up for the
Virtual Kuala Lumpur Half Marathon race (gulp). I will be running 21.1km on the
28th November 2021. The furthest I have managed to run is around 13km. So
this is really going to test my running ability.
Why Women's Aid Organisation Malaysia?
As a feminist and someone passionate about gender-based equalities, I've always felt very lucky that I had a couple of very supportive family members when I was growing up. In my culture boys are favoured over girls. I know this is the case in many cultures and parts of the world. As a girl child, I was exposed to lots of positive experiences many girls wouldn't have been.
Now, being a mother of two girls, it really hits home when I learn about many challenges girls and women are facing even now in the 21st century. Gender-based inequalities are rife all over the world, and each country deals with its own gender-based inequalities differently but the problem is real, it is there. Since the pandemic, it has worsened. For example, in the UK, since COVID-19 hit, domestic violence cases have surged and so has the sexual abuse of girls. Here in this part of the world, domestic violence on women and girls has also grown. But also worryingly, unequal access to education is also surfacing, schools are closed, so poorer families who are reliant on technology for home learning, are struggling because they simply don’t have the equipment. Making it further challenging for girls as there is no encouragement for girls to gain an education anyway, so COVID-19 has just intensified the problem. Many girls are simply dropping out of education and I read somewhere, many girls won’t return to education after the pandemic. This is scary and very sad. Adolescent girls are being married off earlier to save their parents the hassle of having one extra stomach to feed. Sexual harassment continues… the list is long, uncomfortable, and needs fixing. But social change takes time, education, and resources. Women’s Aid Organisation is a non-government, non-religious organisation and it offers women and children practical help. They are also researching all of these issues and others to help get to the root of the problem. The donation you make will go a long way towards the COVID-19 shortfall they are experiencing currently.
Thank you for reading my story, think of me on the 28th November(!) and at the same time please help to raise money for this wonderful organisation working towards gender-based equalities and social change.
So proud of you and especially for choosing this worthwhile charity much needed.
GBP 15 11/23/2021 07:45:07 AM UTC
Asha and Dinker (mum and dad) Pandya
GBP 50 11/22/2021 12:57:00 AM UTC
Amazing Raksha, congratulations - I'm so happy that you are raising money for this charity x
MYR 50 11/21/2021 08:48:12 PM UTC
Congratulations Raksha! Keep on running xx
GBP 10 11/21/2021 11:33:33 AM UTC
You awesome human! Well done, so proud of your achievement ! Well done. Viñales team!
MYR 40 11/21/2021 04:42:56 AM UTC
Love the story. Good luck today.
MYR 100 11/21/2021 02:43:49 AM UTC
All best wishes and have a great run!
MYR 300 11/20/2021 11:54:18 PM UTC
Lynn and Mike Essex
Good luck Raksha! Great cause! Xx
GBP 10 11/20/2021 09:19:10 PM UTC
Woon Chin Yeong
Happy running and all the best!
MYR 100 11/02/2021 01:10:01 PM UTC
All the best on your half marathon!
MYR 100 10/29/2021 09:35:11 AM UTC