My running mate Kapil Tuli (who is also a super artist, by the way) wrote SUCH an interesting Facebook post this morning, and it certainly got me thinking.
With Kapil’s permission, I am sharing his thoughts here, since he makes some very valid points. And I’d love to hear your thoughts.
There hardly seems to be a week goes by without a Run for this or a Run for that.
Women’s empowerment. Clean air. Clean rivers. Fight diabetes.
You name it, there’s a run for it.
I have often pondered what exactly a bunch or runners pounding the streets of Delhi does to raise awareness about diabetes, but Kapil has taken things a step further, by setting down his very logical questions.
Just read what he has to say (highlighting is mine)::
“How does a Run for awareness help?
Thoughts on morning run.
Saw a few posts & messages for awareness run early morning today.
Run for women safety & awareness, & wondered whom and how it helps.
1. Though this malice is spread over entire spectrum, but to a large extent, the people who registered, running community in general are already sensible towards women and educated enough to behave, and women who participate are independent enough to be aware of safety measures.
2. What message, pamphlets, lectures or awareness drive was carried out before, during or after the Run to address the issue?
3. Where did the proceeds go? As a runner & participant, shouldn’t we ask organisers to put up details after an event where, how much, to whom and to how many, the money raised for the event distributed or made use of?
4. What benefits and change was brought by such event, its gala celebration & those post Run booze parties attended by the ambassadors.
Last year, I saw a few beautiful women entrepreneurs in nice plush embassy lawns posing themselves for women empowerment with champagne glasses maybe just to show, how good we fare towards that.
5. Before declaring on an ambassador, what credentials in him or her were seen standing up & supporting for the cause?
Aren’t these just Taglines to get more out without us runners caring about its proceeds, because we can pay. Or fools enough to believe it is actually going to some awareness, safety, empowerment or women, children, education or soldiers’ benefits.
It’s high time, we as a community start asking for these details to be uploaded on the event pages before doling out higher registration fees for such.
How much, to whom, what percentage and its effect.
Or are we just too happy wearing that tee, posing for selfies and declaring ourselves saviours & supporters of the cause on social media? (hoping to become ambassador next time with most popular posts)
Start asking for what you stood up & paid for.. Or tell them to stop using the Taglines and pretend.
The runners will still pay & join to Run & Party.. Isn’t it?
P. S. Idea is not to demean anyone.. All are doing wonderful job promoting fitness and self realisation.. Plus the medals & parties are awesome.. 😀
But do we really need those tags without feeling guilty about it if not really doing anything worthwhile. Charity to mein bhi kar deta hoon kisi anjaan ko kulche chole, juice ya cigarette pila kar…”
Kapil, my friend, you have raised so many pertinent questions and I wonder how we – as a community – should go about getting the answers?
I think your suggestion of asking for accountability from the organisers is spot on.
Some runs for causes are self explanatory. For example, any plogging run has my unquestioning blessing, because you see runners picking up the trash. They are most definitely walking the talk.
Events where you see runners partnering a disabled or partially sighted runner – yet again, you see the action happening.
But running to clean a river…I agree with you, Kapil…how? why? where?
I think we all know that running is becoming very popular in India, so a lot of what passes for “Run for a cause” is – in my opinion – nothing more than a way of making money.
I would LOVE to be proved wrong!
I would LOVE angry rebuttals from the organisers of all these races, sending me details of how much money was raised and how much went to clean that river, empower that girl, or fund cancer research.
I am just waiting to be proved wrong.
And I’m sure Kapil would too. Right, my friend?