Elected representatives, corporate heads and celebrities extend support to the Chennai marathon and the cause

It was an evening filled with music and concerns that voiced the issue of education to all. A musical programme organised by GiveLife Charity and the Marg Chennai Marathon Team in aid of the Chennai Marathon, here on Saturday, saw elected representatives, corporate heads and celebrities extending support to the marathon and the cause.

Member of Parliament Kanimozhi said that it was not the responsibility of the corporates alone to aid the cause of sponsoring education to underprivileged children. Every individual, she said, had to take it upon himself to do whatever he could for the cause. Information Technology Minister Poongothai Aladi Aruna said that as many as 300 companies had been approached for the cause and the response was very encouraging.

GiveLife Chairperson Akhila Srinivasan said the charity that was envisaged three years back by six people with an aim to provide continuous educational support to underprivileged children, had become a collective responsibility now. The charity had been sponsoring the education of select children in schools run by the State government and local bodies till they complete class XII, she said.

Providing education to all was the only way to bridge the differences that existed in society, said G.R.K Reddy, chairman and managing director of Marg Group.

School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu said that though the government had initiated many welfare schemes to spread education, the support of the corporates was needed to ensure that every child had access to basic education.

Calling the programme an appropriate ‘curtain raiser' to the actual event, Tamil Maiyam founder Jegath Gasper Raj said the Chennai Marathon was a ‘social property' of the city.

Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand said that he was excited to be part of a cause that was ‘effectively' being approached with accountability. Actor Arya, expressing his support to the run, said that things worked better when done collectively. Mayor M. Subramanian also spoke.

Guitarist and composer Prasanna and various artists of the Swarnabhoomi Acadamy of Music performed at the programme. The third edition of the Chennai Marathon is scheduled on August 29. More than one lakh people are expected to participate in the seven-km open category ‘I love Chennai run,' and around 8,000 registered participants are expected to take part in the 21-km half-marathon.