Address at the Charity Awards function organized by the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Charity Awards function organized by the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon at Regal Room, Trident Hotel, Mumbai at 7.30 pm on 22 April 2016
Smt Alka Kerkar, Deputy Mayor of Mumbai, Shri Swadhin Kshatriya, Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, top executives of Standard Chartered Bank and TCS, Shri Anil Singh, Shri Vivek Singh, Joint MD, Procam, Smt Jayanti Shukla, Executive Director, United Ways of Mumbai, John Abraham, Brand Ambassador of Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, Miss Gul Panag, distinguished personalities, representatives of various NGOs, individual charity raisers, photo journalists, media-persons, ladies and gentlemen…
It gives me great pleasure to be a part of this very meaningful programme of presentation of the Charity Awards and to applaud individuals, couples, families, Corporates and NGOs who raised maximum funds for various noble causes.
At the outset, I congratulate the organizers of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, Mr Vivek Singh, Mr Anil Singh and others for creating this platform. I am amazed how they conceived the event and how it evolved itself with the participation of thousands of people and that too in a span of just 13 years !! Thanks to their efforts, Mumbai has come up on the world map of Marathon events. This is certainly one event Mumbaikars await keenly, every year.
The Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon held on 17th January this year was the second consecutive Marathon witnessed by me.
I must say, it was among the most exciting, thrilling, lively and colourful sporting events I have ever witnessed. I am impressed by the democratic and inclusive character of the event. It brings one and all on a single platform.
There were children and elders. There were rich and the poor. There were people from different parts of India and there were athletes from at least 16 different countries. Of all people, the enthusiasm and resolve shown by the differently-abled persons and senior citizens was truly astonishing.
Charity work has given a different dimension to Mumbai Marathon. I was impressed to know that 157 Corporate houses and over 500 individuals raised over Rs. 28 crore for 286 NGOs in the 2016 edition of the Marathon.
During the last 13 editions, the Mumbai Marathon has thus raised charity of more than Rs 162 Crore, which is a record in fund raising. It shows the philanthropic spirit of the people of Mumbai.
The Mumbai Marathon has thus become India’s largest charity generating platform. The credit for the same goes to the people of Mumbai, the various NGOs, the organizations supporting the event, the participants and individual and institutional fund raisers.
Today I want to compliment each one of the NGOs represented here and who have benefited from the Marathon. Through their work in diverse areas, these organizations are bringing a smile on the face of the poor and the underprivileged.
Every day we are reading in the newspapers and watching on the television the tales of drought – affected persons, mostly women and children, coming from Marathwada and other regions. There are several human dimension to the water scarcity crisis.
Many experts have described the water scarcity in Marathwada as manmade crisis, aggravated by global climatic changes. I do feel that the organizers and NGOs can play a constructive role by helping the government in making Maharashtra a drought-free state.
Recently, I had a meeting with Corporates and business houses in Raj Bhavan where I sought the cooperation of business houses in the drought-mitigation effort and in making the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan a grand success.
While it is important how much amount the Mumbai Marathon raised for charity, it is more important what difference we actually make to the life of others, how many lives we touch and how many tears we wipe. Let us continue to strengthen the culture of giving through Mumbai Marathon.
With these words, I thank and congratulate everyone, – the promoters, the partners, the participants, the charity raisers and the photo-journalists associated with the Mumbai Marathon. I wish you success in your future endeavours.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!