Address by Governor at the Tata Mumbai Marathon Philanthropy Awards
Address by Shri CH. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Maharashtra at the Tata Mumbai Marathon Philanthropy Awards at Royal Opera House, Mumbai at 7.00 pm on 30 April 2019
Smt Amruta Fadnavis, Shri UPS Madan, Chief Secretary, Shri Anil Singh, MD, Procam International, Shri Vivek Singh, Joint MD, Shri Homi Khusrokhan, Chairman, United Way Mumbai, Representatives of Tata Sons and Tata Consultancy Services, representatives of various NGOs, all the Change Legends, individual charity raisers, media-persons, ladies and gentlemen…
I am indeed delighted to be a part of this very meaningful programme of Charity Awards and to honour the Change Legends, NGOs and individuals who have raised maximum funds for various noble causes using the platform of Tata Mumbai Marathon.
I congratulate the Change Legends and NGOs for their remarkable work. Together, our Change Legends and charity raisers represent the best values of Indian Culture and humanity, namely caring and sharing for the less privileged.
Since taking charge as Governor of Maharashtra five years ago, I have attended almost every Mumbai Marathon. I have also attended the Charity Awards functions and even launched the process of Registration for the subsequent Marathons.
Even though I have not actually run any of the marathons myself, I do feel that the Organizers should take note of my participation in Marathon-related events and consider awarding me the title of an ‘Honorary Marathoner !!’
Mumbai Marathon is the most exciting, lively, colourful, secular and inclusive sporting events I have ever witnessed.
The Mumbai Marathon is growing in stature and popularity with every passing year. While there were professional runners from 16 countries around the world, there were also 47000 amateur runners participating with even greater enthusiasm in the 2019 edition. These 47000 people are the real strength of the event.
The Mumbai Marathon has enhanced the competitive spirit among our Marathoners. This competitiveness is resulting in improved performance by our runners and athletes.
I was delighted that India’s Nitender Singh Rawat who had won the 2019 Mumbai Marathon finished 27th in the elite field of the prestigious London Marathon yesterday. I am confident that the performance of Indians in sports, especially in athletics, track and field games will further improve in the years to come.
Secondly, and most visibly, the Mumbai Marathon has increased health and fitness consciousness among the common people.
Today I see more people – men, women, and youths – hitting the street every morning. This has certainly brought health benefits to our people.
Number Three, Mumbai Marathon reflects the Indian spirit of ‘Unity in Diversity’. It enables people to rise above narrow considerations and think of themselves as Indians.
I feel happy that the Organizers of the Tata Mumbai Marathon attach as much importance to Charity awards function as they attach to the main event of Mumbai Marathon.
I was amazed to know that as many as 270 Non Governmental Organizations used the platform of Tata Mumbai Marathon to raise funds worth Rs. 40 crores; the highest so far.
The Marathon played a big role in highlighting various causes espoused by the different NGOs.
The credit for the same goes to all of you, – the people, Corporates, NGOs, and other individual fund raisers.
I have noted that some of the organizations like the Shrimad Rajchandra Mission have made it a tradition to raise maximum funds for charity year after year. Together all these organizations are bringing smiles on the face of thousands of people year after year.
The spirit of philanthropy is intrinsic to human nature. Everybody is gifted with the ability to give. Time has come to rekindle this spirit of philanthropy and discharge our Individual Social Responsibility. Let us all contribute ourselves for various social causes.
This year, many parts of Maharashtra are going through acute scarcity of water. During the last few years, drought has become a regular occurrence. The sight of women stepping inside deep wells to fetch a bucket of water are really disturbing. The plight of the muted animals is even worse. We need to see how can we conserve every drop of water, how can we manage water resources judiciously and how can we make drought a thing of the past. I believe that together we can make a difference, and make India ‘Sujalam Suphalam’ once again.
On that note of optimism, I thank and congratulate everyone, – the promoters, the partners, the participants and the charity raisers associated with the Tata Mumbai Marathon and I applaud your efforts in promoting the culture of giving.
Jai Hind ! Jai Maharashtra !!