‘Airtel Delhi Half Marathon’ already helped raise Rs.3.5 crores and still counting for Charity

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon (ADHM) 2014), the capital’s most awaited annual sporting event is less than a week away. On 23 November, more than 32,000 runners from across India and different corners of the world will converge at the iconic Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to take part in a running event that not only salutes the spirit of fortitude, perseverance and strength of mind but also helps improve the lives of thousands of individuals through donations raised.

While the Procam International promoted event continues to place emphasis on the sport of distance running, charity has been a fundamental area of focus at each edition. New Philanthropy Partner India Cares Foundation is taking forward this year’s undertaking at ADHM through a host of initiatives.

Through the efforts of the Philanthropy Partner, NGOs and individuals realize that they can support a cause they want to bring about a change to by fundraising, going beyond assistance through donations alone. Through the combined effort of the organizers, NGOs and, of course, the participants and donors, people have come to recognize the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is an event that combines the spirit of sportsmanship with that of charity.

Runners are motivated by the spirit to compete, but even more so by the knowledge that their physical efforts will result in positive change for countless people less fortunate than they are.

“We are delighted to be the Philanthropy Partner of the event, supporting the good causes in North India. It is also a great pleasure to see organizations, companies and individuals coming forward through the event's platform to support the wonderful work being done by the registered good causes”, said Murray Culshaw, Chairperson, India Cares Foundation.

The Delhi Half Marathon has progressed from 27 participating NGOs in its first year to over 95 in 2014, the 7th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. Last year over Rs. 4.15 crores was raised. This year the event has already helped raise Rs.3.5 crores and still counting.

At this time, 86 teams fielded by 60 organizations have registered to run. 25 Dream Makers raising a minimum of Rs. 1.5 lakh, 9 Dream Challengers raising a minimum of Rs. 4 lakh, and 5 Youth Challenge teams with 17 children are associated with the 2014 edition.

Nalina Suresh, Corporate woman and a distance runner said, “I would like to thank India cares Foundation, the Philanthropy partner of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, for making this annual event, a great platform to connect with.” She added, “It was around two years back, my association with 17000 ft Foundation started off; when I witnessed my close friend and founder of 17000 ft foundation reach one of the remotest schools in Ladakh on foot, this incident taught me that one can achieve the unachievable by putting ones endurance to test; it was then that I got associated with running and the foundation, running is a test of human endurance, as when one starts running, it makes you feel powerful and it’s that power which drives me to continue my association.”

The youngest of individual runners who have dedicated time and effort into raising impressive sums is 15-year-old Wayne Andrady, a student of Mount St. Mary's, Delhi, apart from individuals such as Tamana Chona, winner of Dr. Batra’s Positive Health Award, who despite her physical limitations is associated with NGO work in whatever capacity possible; business woman and fitness enthusiast Nalina Suresh, and model Sonalika Sahay.

Wayne Andrady, The Youngest Fund raiser at the ADHM said, I am running because I would like to contribute to Kamalini – an NGO working towards empowering rural women, by giving them vocational training. I strongly believe in this cause, and thus have been reaching out to friends and families to come forward and support generously.”

Tamana Chona, a cerebral palsy afflicted young girl, who overcame her challenge through sheer grit and determination would be running the Marathon for the very first time said, “I am going to run for the very first time with my mother Dr. Shyama Chona and looking forward to some great fun and plan to raise Rs. 1.5 lakh for Tamana”. Tamana is an NGO which provides holistic rehabilitation program to children with special needs.

Well known model, Sonalika Sahay, who too would be running at the Marathon said, “ADHM is a great platform to bring awareness around many faceless issues, am running to raise funds for Maitri, which is committed to providing basic amenities to Widow Mothers of Vrindavan. We have already raised Rs. 4 lakhs which would support nearly 200 widow mothers. I hope that going forward more and more people come forward to participate and donate.”