“The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is not just for athletes or runner enthusiasts. It is as much an opportunity for socially conscious citizens to raise pledges for a cause. Being a change runner gives each one of us an opportunity to make a difference and be a part of the change we wish for. Individuals from all walks of life have come forward to raise awareness and mobilize funds for charities they chose to support “said Nidhi Singh, Director, Concern India Foundation
When the Delhi Half Marathon was first launched in 2005, it was perceived largely as a sporting event and few people were aware of the charitable aspect and the great potential this event could have as a fundraising platform for NGOs across the country. Since that first year, besides becoming one of the premier running events in the international calendar, the event has also progressed into a huge charitable platform, providing a valuable source of funding for numerous programs, working in many varied fields.
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 as 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 themselves.
Each year since its inception, the charity drive associated with the event has received a better response than in the previous year. Every edition sees more NGOs, more runners, more corporate teams and more funds raised toward charity. The Delhi Half Marathon has progressed from 27 participating NGOs in its first year to over 100 in 2013, the 6th edition of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
Last year Rs. 4.04 crore was raised and this year the event has already helped raise Rs. 3.4 crore and still counting. As of today, there are 100 corporate teams registered to run
“Over the years, Bird Group has been actively participating in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. We believe that a premium event such as this encourages our employees to come together thereby to propagate the concept of a healthy lifestyle and above all, stand for a cause that are essential for the development of the larger community”, commented Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group.
“As part of our CSR policy, we at Bird Group have taken a step forth and will extend our support to ‘Sukarya’, which contributes to the physical & mental wellbeing of the marginalized and vulnerable sections of society, particularly women and children” added Ankur.
There are a large number of individual runners too who have dedicated much time and effort into raising impressive sums for the charities they support. The youngest of these are Madhur Dhupar, 14 years old, raising funds for charity for the second time and Aashna Kaul, 16 years old, running as a Dream Maker for the third time. Their participation has been an inspiration to their parents and also motivated them to raise money for a cause of their choice.
“I don’t think I can explain how overwhelming it is to see a pair of happy eyes looking at you when they have learnt what you tried to teach them. I believe in opportunity for all, these children deserve so much more! I am just doing my bit,” said Aashna Kaul, Dream Maker, 2013.
Concern India Foundation is proud to be charity partners of the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and sees its role in this event as an extension of its organizational goals. Concern India Foundation aims to help make people self-reliant and actively strives to give the programs it supports the know-how and tools to become self-sustainable. There are so many NGOs doing wonderful work who are unable to or otherwise unaware of how to raise funds, be it through the ADHM or otherwise. The half marathon is a wonderful opportunity for Concern India to mentor these programs and encourage them to not just raise funds but also gain exposure and awareness.
In addition, Concern India also sees this as an opportunity to sensitize people on the role they can play in making a difference through participation and pledge-raising.
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon is not just a sporting event or a means to raise funds, rather it is a coming together of people. It is an event that allows NGOs, corporates and individuals to work together to create a positive and lasting impact on the lives of those who need it the most.
For further information, please contact:
Concern Indian Foundation