Mumbai Marathon: 'Cause' education draws maximum support

Out of the Rs 21 crore expected to come in the form of various charity donations for the Mumbai Marathon, 36-40 per cent of the funds are for education. Jayanti Shukla, executive director, United Way of Mumbai, philanthropy partner, Mumbai Marathon talks about the cause and effects

When Mumbaikars participate in the Mumbai Marathon, they often donate for a cause. And this year, it’s education that has struck a chord with the citizens. The cause has received the maximum number of donations. The total funds collected this year for education constitute 36-40 per cent of the total amount. At present, the total amount collected is R18.1 crore and by the end of this month, it is expected to touch Rs 21 crore.

Jayanti Shukla 

sunday mid-day spoke to Jayanti Shukla, executive director, United Way of Mumbai, which has been the philanthropy partner of the Mumbai Marathon since 2009. Excerpts from the interview.

Q. The amount of funds for education has gone up this year. How much do you hope to collect by the end of January?
A. Every year, the amount of funds for education increases. We are approximately R1.5 crore ahead of last year. Last year, the marathon raised R20.11 crore for 269 NGOs. We expect to beat that record comfortably this year.

Q. What is the mode of collecting and raising funds?
A. All funds raised through the marathon are structured through separate fundraising categories, which are laid out in the charity structure. Depending on the category, funds come in via cheques, bank transfers and through online fundraising pages. Companies donate and field employees, individuals support by taking up charity bibs and fundraisers create fundraising pages and get friends and supporters to donate.

Q. The marathon gets bigger each year. What makes it special?
A. I believe that today, there are people who are willing to support causes they feel strongly about and are just waiting for someone to ask them in the right way. This edition marks the beginning of the Student Challenge. We have young thriving minds from 16 educational institutes taking on the dream run route and writing their own story for social change.

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