‘Khuda bhi agar chahe to ye 70 minute tumse nhi cheen sakta’, the famous dialogue of the movie ‘Chak de India’ seemed so perfect for Chena Ram Bheel, a Kumbhalgarh based villager, who came out as a winner of the Heritage Walk organized on 10th of March at Fort Kumbhalgarh.
Those 112 minutes (if not 70) belonged to the local boy as he took 1hr and 52min to finish the walk thereby securing the No. 1 position.
One could measure the amount of excitement the participants had when the number of registrations crossed the 400 mark, which initially was expected to be around hundred. Based on medical grounds, about 176 participants were selected for the competitive walk which was 15 km long and the rest of the participants walked for a kilometer.
Padharo Mhare Des
Just Before the walk, the Rajasthani Folk artists made everyone spellbound with their extraordinary performance on ‘kesariya balam..padharo mhare des’ at the Parade ground. There were some more superb performances throughout the day that reflected Rajasthani culture. The ‘Kachchi Ghodi’ and ‘Kaalbeliya’ form of dances added sugar to the taste.
The Celebrity Factor
Bollywood actor Sunil Shetty caught everyone’s eyes when he arrived at the Birth place of Maharana Pratap. He was there to boost up the morale of the participants and he also took a walk for a kilometer along with them. He praised the Rajasthani culture and was overwhelmed by the love he received from the people. It was his first visit to Kumbhalgarh and he wants to add more to the number. He also wished to shoot a film here in the near future.
Barefoot for the walk
The enthusiasm was at its zenith when Jitendra Sharma, resident of a nearby village, decided to go for the walk barefoot. He was rewarded for this unique effort by Dr. Preetam B., Collector, Rajsamand.
Slow but steady
Even the fiery sun couldn’t beat the participants’ determination and the administrators too played their part by providing the energy drinks and some eatables during the course of the walk. Participants kept on taking rest for in between at the centers that were prepared for their comfort and moved on to finish their walk. While Chena Ram claimed the first prize of Rs. 51,000; Ram Lal Bheel and Gopal Singh with prize money of Rs. 41,000 and Rs. 31,000 stood second and third respectively.
Nitin Deep Blagan, SP, Rajsamand, praised the participants for their efforts and thanked Sunil Shetty for his encouraging presence. He also congratulated the administrators and the Miraj group, Vedanta group and JK industrial group for making the event a success.