Thursday, October 31, 2019

For the first time in India, 125 industry leaders partner with ABBF to run as allies with PwDs at the Tata Mumbai Marathon 2020




Approximately 200 million Persons with Disability (PwDs) live in India—yet, we don't see them around us due to several social and attitudinal barriers. Additionally, less than 1 percent of PwDs are employed by companies in India–and these numbers have barely risen in the last 10 years. How do we then break the stigma around disability and make inclusion the norm in corporates and the society at large? An inclusive marathon might just have the answer to that.

Adventures Beyond Barriers Foundation (ABBF) is proud to announce the inclusive 10K marathon at the Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM) 2020 that will see 125 industry leaders running together with PwDs. This event is pegged to be one of the largest inclusive marathons in India and will witness some of the biggest leaders endorsing disability inclusion in the corporate world. Also, this is the first time in the history of TMM that the 10K run has been opened to PwDs.

op corporate and social sector heads such as Anurag Mehrotra (Co-founder & CEO—Charcoal Eats), Ashok Alexander (Founder-Director—The Antara Foundation), Dhanpal Jhaveri (Managing Partner—Everstone Capital and CEO—EverSource Capital), Pratima Salunkhe (Head HR—Raychem RPG, Head D&I—RPG Group), Sudhir Shenoy (Country President & CEO—Dow Chemical International Private Ltd. India), GPK Raju (Executive Director, ECOBOARD Industries ltd), and many more have already signed up as allies, signalling how corporate India is ready to embrace inclusion like never before. Additionally, companies have extended generous support to ABBF for this cause—Dow Chemical International Private Ltd. India has offered financial support of INR 20 lakh while Charcoal Eats has offered to be the food and beverage partner for ABBF participants on the day of the event.


ABBF came up with this initiative to encourage dialogue through play between corporates and PwDs. The idea is when people play together, dialogue and empathy are bound to take over. Speaking on this collaboration with TMM, Divyanshu Ganatra, Founder and Chairman of ABBF said, “This inclusive run is of landmark importance for corporate India and the country at large not just because of its scale but also because of what it is trying to achieve through play. Corporates play a big role in solving the larger issue of inclusion. If more companies are inclusive of PwDs, then their employment, education, socialization and public infrastructure will become priorities across India. Also, at ABBF, we believe in the transformative power of play and that’s why we’re so excited about collaborating with TMM to make this inclusive run happen.”


Speaking about his participation as an ally in this 10K inclusive run, Sudhir Shenoy (Country President & CEO—Dow Chemical International Private Ltd. India), said, “Running has inspired me in different ways. All the marathons that I have participated in have led me to different journeys and this time, it feels like a whole new one. We always talk about running as an equalizer for the society and this inclusive run will chart a new way ahead for inclusion.”


Anurag Mehrotra (Co-founder & CEO—Charcoal Eats), also a participating ally in this run, said, “We don’t talk much about the social and attitudinal barriers that stop PwDs from living a full life. This initiative by ABBF is an eye opener for all of us as it will break the misconceptions that come with disability. I am excited to participate as an ally in this run, and I think it will be a great experience to cross the finish line with my running partner.”


The marathon is scheduled to take place on 19 January 2020. If you would like to serve as a volunteer for this inclusive run, please write to nalanda@abbf.in. The last day for registration is November 25, 2019.


About ABBF:ABBF (www.abbf.in) is a not for profit, based out of Pune, India, that promotes inclusion. Through adaptive adventure and outdoor sport initiatives and collaborations, ABBF provides visibility for PwDs.
Our work is based on the belief that adventure and the outdoors have the power to positively transform people. Each of our inclusive adventures have shaken up social biases, sparked off empathy, and above all, inspired inclusion. Because of ABBF’s work so far, PwDs have begun to take up adventure sports. and have gained more supporters and employment than ever before. Since our inception in 2014, we have organized over 70 inclusive adventures in India with 5,785 PwDs and over 2 lakh able-bodied people.


ABBF was founded by Divyanshu Ganatra—India’s first solo blind pilot, trekker, mountaineer, scuba diver, marathoner, and the first blind pillion cyclist to ride from Manali to Khardung La (the highest motorable road in the world). Oh, he is also a clinical psychologist, two-time entrepreneur, IT guy and public speaker.


About TMM:Mumbai Marathon’s journey for the past 15 years has been transformational—from starting a fitness revolution that has spanned over 1,000 road races in the country, to creating a springboard for Indian long and middle-distance runners and people coming together beyond politics, religion, race, colour—the marathon has become a beacon of humanity and compassion for the nation and the world.
Today, the Tata Mumbai Marathon is amongst the top 10 marathons in the world and has truly put India on the global map of distance running. The USD 405,000 event has six different race categories—Full Marathon (42.195 kms), Half Marathon (21.097 kms), Dream Run (6.6 km), Senior Citizens Race (4.7 km), Champions with Disability category (2.1 km) and a newly added Open 10K run. Over 46,000 participants including amateurs, fitness enthusiasts and the world’s best distance runners take to the streets of Mumbai on the third Sunday of January every year.

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