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The Hindu review - Life & Style » Kids
January 31, 2011 For fitness, fun and a healthy future
Aparna Menon

The Striding Flamingo workshop guides kids to eat healthy, to do various physical activities and to spend time to discover themselves.

“I could never have imagined that I would run five kms at one stretch,” says Aishwarya Suryadevara, a Std. V student of Indus International School who attended a Striding Flamingos workshop. Striding Flamingos was started last year by the sisters Indu and Priya Vaidyanathan, with a hope to inculcate “fitness, mental strength and creativity” in these girls.

“During the programme the girls are encouraged to eat healthy, to do various physical activities and to spend time to discover themselves”, say the founders.

The children also do a group activity where they “give back to society”. One such was the “Soles for Souls” activity, where they brought shoes and sandals from home and distributed them to poor children who they found walking bare foot.

Apeksha Atal, a Std. IX student of Indus International School, says “this programme has made me a lot more confident and a much better person. I have learnt to run, to be disciplined and also feel the need to do something for others who are not as fortunate. This is learning for life which does not end in eight weeks.”

A typical Striding Flamingos workshop stretches over eight weeks, through which girls between the ages of eight and 14, do various activities where they learn about themselves, they build up their stamina and finally manage to complete a five km run. This programme really does wonders to their “stamina, confidence and self esteem”, to quote Aishwarya.

Divya Gudur a Std. VI student of International School of Hyderabad says, “We encounter various distractions during our runs, like looking at a particular bird or an interesting flower. This makes the running bit very interesting, and before we know it, we have covered the given distance. Its amazing that we are not tired after the run.”

In focus
Kovida Yellamanchi, her classmate adds, “Timing does not matter in these runs at all, it's only completing the run and enjoying the entire experience that is the point of focus. This is what makes even the laziest amongst us, wake up and make sure to be present every Saturday morning.”

During the programme the girls are encouraged to maintain a diary in which they write all about their physical activities and also their feelings towards various things. Through this the girls understand themselves and as they are given points for their behaviour and activities, they are encouraged to continue writing and sharing their feelings with themselves!!

Shaili Shukla, Std. V, from International School of Hyderabad feels that she has learnt positive thinking from this programme.
Striding Flamingos would like to work with the Physical Education teachers in schools so that the program will become a continuous one.

For more information one can log onto www.stridingflamingos.com or contact Indu Vaidyanathan at # 9985300078 or through mail at stridingflamingos@gmail.com

The Striding Flamingos program conducted by the Co-founders Indu and Priya held a Grand Finale as a culmination to the 8 week long program at the Indus International School Hydeabad. The program was a great success with 27 kids participating and completing the 5km run amongst cheer from parents and volunteers. See what they had to say about running and the striding flamingos program.

Click to see 'Times of India' review of the event 

Click to see 'The Hindu' review of the event

Indus girls talk about the program


About guest speaker Mrs Sunita Tummalapalli:
Mrs Sunita Tummalapalli is a mother of three kids who completed her master’s degree in nutrition from the US.  She is also a Reebok certified fitness and yoga instructor.

She is passionate about running and since 2008 has completed a few half marathons and also her first full marathon in Auroville, Pondicherry.  She is currently training for her second Marathon in Greece, end of Oct 2010

Apart from starting her own fitness center offering personal training and aerobics she is also an avid trekker. In 2008, she successfully trekked to the base camp of Mt Everest and in 2010 summited Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Beyond health and fitness she has revived her creative skills in Photography. Some of her photographs were exhibited in Mumbai and Hyderabad in 2009 and 2010. She is also a co-founder of an organization called WiN ( women in network) that adopts slums and works with the children and women providing counseling and help in health, hygiene and education.
Honestly and humbly she admits “I am trying to do everything that I could not do as a child “.

Striding Flamingos Care
As part of the grand finale program, the Striding Flamingos batch of the Indus International School Hyderabad, is organizing a book drive for "PUSTAKAAR". This is a charitable mobile library program aimed at lending books to underprivileged school children in Hyderabad.


Disclaimer: All content of this site cannot be published, modified or distributed in full or part, without the prior written consent of Indu Vaidyanathan and Priya Vaidyanathan.

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