India’s first-ever virtual marathon to commence on Independence Day, to raise funds for underprivileged

The goal of the virtual marathon, ‘Sunfeast India Run as One,’ is to raise funds for the underprivileged communities that have been most affected amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
2.2k CLAPS

The coronavirus pandemic has been deemed as “the worst global crisis since World War II” by the International Labour Organisation.

According to one of ILO’s report, about 400 million people working in the informal economy in India are at risk of falling deeper into poverty due to the pandemic. It is also expected to wipe out 195 million full-time jobs in the second quarter of this year.

To help people in such dire times, Procam International, along with Sunfeast and GiveIndia, is organising a virtual marathon called ‘Sunfeast India Run as One.’ The marathon starts on Independence Day on August 15 and will extend till September 13.

The sports event management firm has set a goal to cover the distance between Kashmir and Kanyakumari 74 times as part of the marathon on the occasion of the 74th Independence Day.

Image: Facebook

The run is a first-of-its-kind, digitally supported, virtual marathon to encourage purposeful fundraising from within India and across the world.

While adhering to COVID-19 guidelines, people can participate in the marathon from their home by raising funds for those impacted in the pandemic, as well as pledging the number of kilometres they want to cover, either by walking, running, or jogging to complete the distance.

Each participant’s registration will contribute to supporting individuals working in the informal sector to start earning a wage again. Participants can register at a nominal fee, starting at Rs 99 and onwards, based on their choice of contribution and pledge to walk, run, or jog for the cause. You can link your smartwatches or fitness devices and sync the data to the platform.

The fundraising will benefit micro-entrepreneurs, farmers, migrant workers, LGBTQIA+ communities, differently-abled, tribal communities, athletes, sportspersons, and more, the organisation said. 

ITC's Sunfeast spokesperson, Ali Harris Shere, Chief Operating Officer - Biscuits and Cakes, Foods Business Division, said, “We are proud to present this holistic initiative which empowers individuals to positively impact the lives of millions in our country in the wake of this unprecedented situation through daily activities like walking, running, jogging, etc., which, in turn, will be beneficial for their health.”

In fact, the online marathon is supported by many celebrities, including fitness enthusiasts and actors Milind Soman, Tiger Shroff, and Rahul Bose.

“Sunfeast India Run as One is not about kilometres or medals, but taking that first step of participation which will have a positive impact on society. We urge every Indian to come forward and put their shoulder to the wheel, and do their bit by registering,” says Anil and Vivek Singh of Procam International.

NGO GiveIndia, an online donation platform, has come forward to help channel these resources to credible NGOs across India who are working towards the upliftment of unprivileged people. 

“In the last few months, we have collected about Rs 250 crore for COVID-19, and have managed to impact over 40 lakh lives,” says Ashok Kumar ER, President, GiveIndia.

“We have a contest for three categories between the states and union territories of the country — the longest distance walked, the maximum donations raised, and the maximum number of people that participated,” he adds.

Click here for more details on the virtual marathon.

Edited by Suman Singh