Mumbaikars put on running shoes for Marathon Sunday

From awareness on investment markets to those championing for equal opportunities for the disabled,all causes led to South Mumbai as the city stepped out once again,running,jogging and walking to mark Marathon Sunday.

Written by MANASI PHADKE | Mumbai | Published: January 16, 2012 2:35 am

From awareness on investment markets to those championing for equal opportunities for the disabled,all causes led to South Mumbai as the city stepped out once again,running,jogging and walking to mark Marathon Sunday.

With the upcoming Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections on everyone’s minds,a contingent of 35 members belonging to the Children’s Movement for Civic Awarenessparticipated in the six-kilometre Dream Run of the ninth Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon to encourage other participants to cast their votes. The members sported banners saying,‘One dot can make a difference’ and urged people to come out and vote on February 16.

“Not many people come out and vote in the civic elections in Mumbai. People don’t even know the difference between their MLA and corporator,” said Vinodini Lulla,a member of the organisation.

During the last civic elections,only 45 per cent of city’s voting population of 83.88 lakh had exercised their vote. The NGO works to involve children in civic activities right from the onset.

A total of 38,775 people had registered for the marathon this year,with 370 participants in the wheelchair category and 1,251 in the senior citizens’ category.

The Dream Run category had 20,500 registrations with companies,individuals and 222 NGOs spreading awareness about issues such as malnutrition among children,education of girl children,rights of senior citizens and tribal welfare.

A contingent from the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI),the stock market regulator,spoke about how investors need to be more informed before dabbling in the securities market.

“Investors should read the fundamentals of the companies available on SEBI’s website before investing. There is also a portal (www.scores.gov.in) available to investors to lodge complaints related to the securities market. Not many use it,” said Juliet Quadros,a SEBI employee.

Among various corporates were the employees of Air India in Mumbai,who ran in the Dream Run hoisting their mascot,the Maharaja. “We want our salaries and we want to see Air India fly high once again,” said Manish Gupta,a senior systems software engineer at Air India.

A small number of Anna Hazare supporters — volunteers of India Against Corruption — also participated in the marathon wearing ‘I am Anna’ caps and T-shirts.

This year,for the first time,the organisers had tied up with waste management firm NextGen for recycling plastic bottles that were strewn all over the marathon’s route and processing of wet waste into manure.

The high levels of enthusiasm for some marathon participants dipped as the Asian Heart Institute,the official medical help of the event,reported five serious cases of ill health during the event.

Forty-five-year-old Dinesh Kumar Chandrakar collapsed on the Bandra-Worli Sea Link due to severe chest pain while running the 42-kilometre full marathon and was rushed to Lilavati Hospital.

Anju Handa suffered multiple face injuries and a broken tooth when she fell while running the 21-kilometre half marathon and was admitted to the Bombay Hospital. “Mere enthusiasm does not always suffice in such situations. Thorough training,fitness and following medical advice are equally important,” Dr Vijay D’Silva,the medical director,said.

There were about 3,500 people who needed medical help at Azad Maidan,with about 300 doctors present. Oral dehydration,cramps,physiotherapy and nausea were the most common problems of runners.

There were 12 medical stations along the running routes and eight ambulances near the starting point at CST.

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