The city's philanthropic side showed up in splendid fashion at a function where it was announced that the 2012 edition of the Mumbai Marathon raised Rs 16.07 crore for charity -- Rs 3.91 crore more than last year. The generated amount will benefit 197 NGOs.
Three individuals who stood out during a felicitation ceremony for the fund-raisers were 13-year-old Meera Mehta, youngest Dream Maker who raised Rs 1.53 lakh for Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care, and the husband-wife duo of physically challenged Sankararaman and Ramani Sankararaman who raised Rs 27.25 lakh for their NGO Amar Seva Sangam that helps in rehabilitation of the disabled in Ayikudy, Tamil Nadu.
"I have been accompanying my mother Dr Bijal Mehta (who raised Rs 18 lakh and was the highest fund-raising champion woman) to Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care in the tribal belt of Dang Village in Gujarat. During one of the visits, watching the sick and needy being deprived of basic necessities like water, medicines etc inspired me to do something for them," said Meera, a student of the Aditya Birla World Academy.
Sankararaman has been participating and raising funds for the Tamil Nadu based organisation of which he is the honorary secretary. "Despite being outsiders, we feel a deep connect with the city. People here have upported us generously. This year, we had set a target to raise Rs 25 lakh and we achieved it. Next year, we aim to raise Rs 50 lakh for the organisation," said the duo.
Shrimad Rajchandra Love and Care emerged the highest pledge raising NGO for the second year, having generated a staggering Rs 96.92 lakh. Paragon Charitable Trust (Muktangan) was a close second, generating Rs 95.55 lakh while Concern India Foundation was the third highest, raising Rs 67.34 lakh.