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Running for a cause….

Few years back, I came to know about Mumbai Marathon. Last year, I couldn’t make it! I tried to at least be the part of Navi Mumbai Marathon, but that too didn’t work, thanks to a pre-planned tour and also an-all-of-sudden announcement of the event.

This year I was all ready, all prepared waiting enthusiastically with all my senses open, for the Mumbai Marathon 2011. And, to sure my participation I applied personally vis-à-vis through an NGO too. My personal application rejected, and so were my hopes. Then one day, I heard from the NGO guys, that the chance for participation in the India’s most known and revered Marathon are still alive! And, I was like hell yeah! J

Well, to apply through NGO was, ahhh let me confess, almost purely …... I didn't know much about the organization prior to application. That organization is Isha-Vidya Foundation, run by Isha Foundation which is a non-religious, no-profit, public service organization. I came in touch with Isha Foundation through their Inner Engineering Program that I did on a friend’s recommendation. I didn’t actually get any visible change in myself after the program, but yes I felt a different energy, but that I’ll discuss sometime later. Right now I’m to talk about Isha Vidya Foundation, the Foundation for which I am/was intended to run, run for the cause.

Isha Vidya, as the name suggests, works in the field of Education. It’s an initiative by Isha Foundation to bring the level of education in rural India at par with that in urban India. About 200 people are running for the cause of raising money for Isha Vidya in Mumbai marathon 2010 under different categories. I am privileged to be one! J

I want to share what other runners, who are also engaged in raising funds, have to say about this gracious cause:
 “I am running for Isha Vidhya because by educating a child I am creating an individual who becomes completely self-reliant and is an asset to the nation. Also Isha Foundation has enviable track record for success, impeccable credentials and very efficient utilization of the funds donated”
-- Jamshed Jehangir, Isha Mumbai volunteer, 70 years old, running for Isha Vidhya for last 3 years

 “Schools run by Isha Education, in a very short span, have been applauded as a role model school and even the better run schools would be inspired to adapt Isha Vidhya Practices when they see the way the kids from Isha Vidhya, from rural area blossom so wonderfully. Am requesting my friends, acquaintances & corporates for their support, to the Isha Vidhya Project so wonderfully executed.”
-- Rahul Patil, running 21 kms

I have always been deeply moved by the expectant eyes of grubby little children with good potential but no opportunities.  Isha Vidhya is doing a great job of providing high quality education to these rural children at an affordable cost.
I am running half marathon to raise as much funds as I can for Isha Vidhya. I am approaching all my friends, colleagues and relatives and urging them to reach out so that every child that is supported through this initiative gets a chance to reach his/her full potential………  I think this is the least that i can do in my small way :)
       -- Kalpana Maniar, running 21 kms for last 3 years

I spent some time to draft a personalized email (see attached sample) and took feedback from a few friends to fine tune the same. I have been touched by the wonderful response from people.  I have over 25 people who have reverted with cash / cheque / confirmation that they will contribute.  I am making a list of these names and intend to follow up with them to ensure that their contribution is received (online / by cheq / cash) before end of Dec. 
       I am reaching out to all my contacts in linkedin / facebook .I am taking this opportunity to reach out and break my own limitations.
 -- Rajeswari Kesavan,  running the 21 kms for last 3 years, 
 See her donation page at:

 “What I am today, is because of the education that my parents could provide me. There are millions of children in Rural India who are not as fortunate as me. Isha Education has taken up this task of setting up schools in rural Tamilnadu and is committed to providing quality education that is affordable and accessible to these children in their own villages. Having been to one such School near Coimbatore and having seen for myself the joy and happiness bubbling in those rural children. I am supporting this cause. I am sure with its rural schools, Isha will change the face of Rural India. “
                       -- Meyyammai Ganesh, running 6kms 
See her donation  page at: 

Over 200 people are voluntarily raising funds for Isha Foundation. I am one of them. Honestly, I am having very dim chances of participation because of some personal reasons, but I’m doing my bit. I am practicing for the run, asking a few people for their contribution (shy, I’m still caught in chakras of self!) and will do my best to run for Isha Foundation on January 16, 2010.

If you find yourself in position to stretch your arms for the rural children, rural India, you may be a part of the mission by donating whatever you can, even building materials too! All you need to do is contact me ( or visit

Typical donation examples for Isha Vidhya 
Rs 10,000/- per unit
Computers and accessories
Rs 30,000/- per unit
Laboratory equipment
Rs 75,000/- per lab

Any amount big or small would help this cause tremendously and we need your support to make it happen. If any donations are not possible then your involvement to motivate the runners and your support for the marathon run would be equally wonderful.

You are also invited to the practice run before the Mumbai Marathon race day, scheduled on January 2nd, 2011 Sunday as at Mahalaxmi Race Course at 6.15 am – 8.00 am.

It would be a wonderful way to welcome the New Year 2011 with an effort towards this cause!

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