K. Lakshmi

Thangara Mahendiran takes up AIDS awareness

CHENNAI: Some run for their health, while a few like Thangara Mahendiran run for a cause: the latter is trying to spread awareness about HIV/AIDS among the public.

He started his run from Karaikal to New Delhi, a distance of around 2,500 kilometres nearly a fortnight ago. At the end of the 52-day run, Mr. Mahendiran, an insurance agent by profession, wants to meet President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in New Delhi. "I nurtured the dream to run for a social cause for almost seven years," said the man, whose journey would take him through Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

Involved in social service for several years now, he wants to get into politics. He says it is his ultimate aim. He is also studying at Annamalai University for a bachelor's degree in political science. Running for a cause, however, is not new to him: Mahendiran covered close to 140 km from Karaikal to Puducherry in two days and 35 hours for a similar AIDS awareness campaign last December.