A sports event that draws fundraisers too

Updated - January 11, 2017 07:30 am IST

Published - January 11, 2017 12:05 am IST

MUMBAI: Sporting events bring people together; athletes and aficionados, fitness freaks and fundraisers drawn to a common cause. The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, which conveys the health benefits of running to people, also provides an avenue for charity.

From a modest ₹1.44 crore collected in 2004, the marathon’s inaugural year, the figure has crossed ₹25 crore so far in 2017, and is estimated to reach ₹30 crore.

Those raising funds for various causes include 150 corporates, such as Godrej & Boyce, which has urged employees to donate their about-to-lapse leaves to its CSR activity. Several individuals are raising funds too, such as 12-year-old Aarav Hak, who has raised ₹11 lakh for treatment of children with cancer.

“The Mumbai Marathon has two sides. One is the sports side and the other, softer side, is charity,” said Jayanti Shukla, CEO of United Way Mumbai, the event’s philanthropy partner.

The 14th Mumbai Marathon this Sunday will also see participation from 11 monks from Isha Foundation’s Coimbatore centre to raise awareness about Isha Vidya. Sadashiv Rao, a volunteer, will also run the half marathon, and has raised ₹27.8 lakh. “The money will be used to run 600 schools in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, which support rural children,” said the yoga practioner.

United Way links up with NGOs and individuals who register to run for a cause or raise funds at the event. The collected funds are routed to projects through the NGOs.

Aarav, for instance, decided to raise funds for cancer-affected children after coming in contact with such patients during his mother’s efforts to raise funds. “She would relate stories about her experiences, and I got inspired to raise funds for the Nargis Dutt Charitable Trust,” he said. He will run the Dream Run this year.

Dr. Bijal Mehta, a trustee of Shrimad Rajchandra Love & Care, is working towards a ₹34-crore target to fund a hospital for underprivileged people in Gujarat’s Dharampur district. SRLC has raised funds via the Mumbai marathon for seven years in a row. Likewise, Karjat resident Rupesh Pandhekar will raise money for the Light of Life Trust, which supported his education from when he was five years old.

The Mumbai Marathon is promoted by Procam International.

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