Someone once said, ‘Running teaches me that I am capable of so much more than I ever imagined.’
On 15 January 2017, twenty runners from different corners of the world proved this true by running for Touching Lives at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon. Not only did they help with generating more funds and attention for Touching Lives, but they also they got the wheels rolling, for themselves and for the Organisation.
Each year, it is a very special moment for Touching Lives to have runners participate in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon Race Day, and represent the Organisation. Thousands of runners from the world over come together, vouch for different causes, and initiate an energetic interaction among so many causes. For all the twenty Touching Lives runners who finished the race, out of which nine were half-marathoners and eleven ran in the Dream Run, it was a moment of glory for Touching Lives too. Through the training, hard breathing, sweating, pain, and then the journey, crowd, and euphoria, the most beautiful part of it is that each runner did it for himself/herself. With each mile they crossed, they became more of who they are. In that Touching Lives became a part of their inner journey too.
One such runner was Sadik Keshwani, who went the extra mile, literally. He flew down all the way from the picturesque city of Basil, Switzerland, to make it well in time for the Race Day. He also came to the Touching Lives Learning Centre, to spend time with the children and share his journey with them, after the race. ‘Running is a wonderful thing.’ he told them. ‘In the beginning, I felt may be I couldn’t finish it, because I hadn’t trained as much as I would have like to. But the mood was so motivating that morning. There were so many people out there cheering for the runners, residents took the trouble to come all the way out on the streets from their homes. They were offering us refreshments, fruits, lemonade, biscuits and other useful things. Indeed there was this thought too that I am running for Touching Lives and I would love to reach that finish line for them.’
‘For me this was a very personal journey. It was so beautiful to have an entire city back you up to finish something you have started. I feel happy that I did this just the way I wanted, right from the time I woke up that morning, till the time I reached the finish line.’
From the Desk of the Champions
This year’s Mumbai Marathon was of great significance for the Touching Lives’ team too! Through the SCMM Online Giving Page, the fundraisers, a.k.a the Champions, had a successful streak this year.
Says Ankit Kanani, Communications Head of Touching Lives, ‘This was the most successful Mumbai Marathon for us, both in terms of the number of people we could reach through the Marathon, and the funds that we could raise through it. This was also certainly a moment of growth for us. We reached out to more people this time, using all the avenues possible – Facebook, WhatsApp, Email, Phone calls.
Once the runners were finalised, we did everything to support them through their journey, creating a group to share information about the Marathon training. We also made sure to meet all our runners, and a bunch of us were present to cheer them on the Race Day too! We also shared fundraising tips and ideas with our Champions, the online fundraisers.’
Though fundraising is largely deemed as an organisational undertaking, it was every bit as personal too.
Aditi Kanwar Parmar who is HR Head and Leader of Community Mentors, shared her personal experience about being a Champion, ‘I felt that it was great to get a chance to reconnect with my friends, family, and others through this work. It feels good to have them support the work you do. As far as I am concerned, raising funds is not about asking someone to donate.
It is about becoming the medium for people to do good work. I am just opening up and making myself available. This is the reason why I do this, year after year.’
It will be apt to say that the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2017 turned out to be euphoric, and above all a great learning experience. Hundred percent of the funds raised through the runners and the online giving page, reach the organization. The same will be utilised effectively toward creating and providing nourishing, soulful education and educational resources for children. Touching Lives bows in gratitude to its runners, fundraisers and to the spirit of the Marathon.
Note: The SCMM online giving page is still active and will remain open for the next two days, i.e. till the 30th of January 2017. To contribute to this beautiful journey of Touching Lives, log on to: https://www.unitedwaymumbai.org/ngo-231