More than 10,000 participants, including Bollywood celebrities, are expected to run in the fourth edition of the Jammu Marathon, scheduled to be held in Jammu on Sunday.
"We are expecting 10 to 20,000 participants in the fourth edition of Jammu Marathon," the organizers of the event said.
The event, which will feature Bollywood stars such as Raghuvir Yadav and Tia Bajpai, will carry a prize purse of about Rs 75,000, with the top athlete in both men and women's category receiving a sum of Rs 21,000 each.
Runners-up in both the categories will get Rs 11,000 each while the second runners-up will receive a sum of Rs 5,100 each.
The minister for Medical Education, Sports and Youth Services, Taj Mohi-ud-Din, while extending his support to the event said that the upcoming event will be dedicated to the women of India.
"This marathon will be dedicated to dignity and pride of Indian women," the minister said during a meeting here.
He assured organizers of all the possible support to make the event a success.
"I extend full support of the State for providing security and other essential services to the marathon," he said. Taj also informed that the marathon will begin from the M A Stadium and will run across B C Road, Ambphalla, Kachi Chawni and other parts of the city before culminating at the Stadium.
When asked about various steps being taken by the government to develop sports in the state, Taj, who was appointed as the sports minister of the state during a recent cabinet reshuffle, said that he was still contemplating and had not taken a review of his department so far.
He, however, said that the department lacked necessary funds for the promotion of sports.
"There are not much funds in our plan for development of sports. We have around 6,000 employees and most of the funds are utilized in their salaries," he said.
Taj, though, assured that he will "mobilize resources" and also said that he will ask the Central government for the necessary funding for various projects which the state is entitled to.
The minister also informed that as a policy decision they have instructed all middle and high schools of the state to form various sports teams and have also told them to develop the playgrounds for children.