Why These Delhi Women ‘Shed It’ and Run in Sports Tops

Delhi women runners race past society’s narrow mindset and embrace body positivity.

1 min read

Producer: Amrita Gandhi
Camera: Abhay Sharma
Editor: Kunal Mehra

They are fit, they are disciplined and they wake up early. I’m talking 3:45 am early. On a wet dark morning outside Delhi’s Nehru park with lights blinking on the road and airport-bound motorists going back and forth, I see Tanya Agarwal jogging solo – a slight strong figure in the distance in a racer cut sports top and tights.

Soon another woman joins her, Bhawna Dutta – she is warming up – in a sports top and shorts. What? Here in Delhi with the many ‘onlookers’ and ‘bystanders’?

Yes that’s exactly the point.

The group started by Tanya Agarwal do what they call ‘Shed it Run’ where they shed the baggage that holds women back – be it the real fear for their safety or their own self consciousness, and run together, 40-50 kms a week. And they do so in their sports tops – no matter the stares. The unwanted attention was eventually outnumbered by admiration and encouragement.

“That early in the morning, I truly feel that any thing I want to do is possible. And I tell the fence sitters to come join us, and run with us in a group, forget about everything. It is really liberating.” says Tanya who is a mother of two, a yoga instructor and blogger.

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