With heart and determination, runners and walkers gathered at Purgatory Creek Park on Aug. 5 for the 16th Annual Raksha 5K Run/Walk & Vigil to raise awareness against distracted driving.
The event shines a light on the dangers of distracted driving, including cell phone use, adjusting car radios, and lack of sleep.
Vijay Dixit is the chairman of the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, the non-profit organization behind the planning of the annual 5K event. This cause holds deep personal significance for him. In 2007, his daughter Shreya, a 19-year-old dean’s list student, was tragically killed when the driver of her car became distracted and crashed.
Inspired by the Indian festival Raksha Bandhan, symbolizing the protective bond between siblings, the event promotes a similar bond among drivers. Participants pledge to drive distraction-free to protect each other and the community.
Dixit’s efforts have expanded nationwide, in association with sponsors such as Cargill and Federated Insurance, and partners like the Eden Prairie Police Department and the Minnesota State Patrol. Every year for the past 16 years, Minnesota’s governor has signed a proclamation to draw attention to the urgent need to reduce distracted driving.
Editor’s note: Vijay Dixit, quoted in this story as the chairman of the Shreya R. Dixit Memorial Foundation, serves as a board member of Eden Prairie Local News. He is also a member of the Development Committee and journalism team.
We offer several ways for our readers to provide feedback. Your comments are welcome on our social media posts (Facebook, X, Instagram, Threads, and LinkedIn). We also encourage Letters to the Editor; submission guidelines can be found on our Contact Us page. If you believe this story has an error or you would like to get in touch with the author, please connect with us.