Fauja SinghWhen it comes to women’s issues we often feel like we’re in the fight alone. Stories like the tragic rape that led to the death of a young Indian woman in December had women all over the world up in arms and screaming for justice, but the voices of men, for the most part, fell silent. But one man wants women to know they aren’t alone in the struggle and at 101-years-old he’s trying to become a catalyst for change.

Fauja Singh from India is hailed across the land as the world’s oldest runner and he is set to retire from the sport at the end of this month, but before he hangs up his running shoes Fauja ran one last race, and it was probably the most important one of his life. In January the “Turbaned Tornado” as he is affectionately called, participated in a mini marathon organized by Punjabi paper the Rozana Spokesman in hopes of raising awareness for the rights and security of women. Instead of focusing on death penalties for men who participate in crimes against women, the race focused on bringing in “non-controversial icons” to open up the conversation to social change. According to Fauja one of the main reasons for running was the women in his life:

“I am pained to listen that my daughters, grand daughters and great grand daughters are no longer safe.”

Retirement won’t be stopping Fauja for long, he plans to keep running four hours a day as an example to other and to “inspire the masses.”

Inspiration indeed.

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