The thrill of finishing a race, the fierce competition in organised sport — these are some of the reasons why many participate in the TCS World 10K run.
For others, the stakes are higher. Disabilities, human rights abuse, and other issues are usually swept under the carpet, but this international event serves as a platform for the masses to understand — as well as help alleviate — the problem.
SICHREM, an NGO which strives for human rights education, aimed to bring about greater awareness by taking part in the race.
“We want to raise funds for the victims of human rights violations. One of the issues we deal with is domestic violence against women, which is punishable by law, but not enforced often,” says Chitra Ranganada, fund raising co-ordinator of SICHREM.
The funds raised will be channelled to SICHREM’s clinics in slums, which seeks to educate women about their basic rights, and how to tackle cases of domestic violence. Most women in these areas do not know that the law is on their side, says Ms. Ranganada.
SICHREM hopes to collect Rs. 5 lakh through its entry in the TCS World 10K, and has realised Rs. 1.2 lakh so far. ‘Dream A Dream’, an NGO with the mission to impart life skills to children from vulnerable backgrounds, uses an unique method to reach the goal.
The NGO uses sport and art to teach children these lessons, which cannot be found in the regular curriculum of a school.
“We have after-school programmes with government-aided schools, where life skills such as decision-making and conflict-resolution are taught. Through sport, we use experimental mediums to simulate situations that these children will face in life. Then, through discussion, the students learn the best ways to tackle these types of scenarios,” says Suchetha Bhat, Chief Operating Officer, ‘Dream A Dream’.
The cheers from many of the beneficiaries of these NGOs, when their parade passed, is proof that this race is more than just that.