Season’s First Race Hits The Road For A Cause


Kolkata: The fifth edition of Airtel Run for Education, the season’s first run in the city of joy, was flagged off on Wednesday from City Centre I, Salt Lake, by the upcoming Bollywood actress and MTV VJ, Rhea Chakraborty in the presence of Mr. Sameer Anjaria, CEO, Bharti Airtel Ltd. West Bengal and Odisha, Mr. Sumit Agarwal, Head Marketing, Bharti Airtel Ltd. West Bengal, Mr. Akshay Duggar, National Secretary Round Table India, Mr. Atul Gupta, Race Director, Mr Kunal Khilani, Race Mentor and Mr. Vinit Jain, Chairman, Calcutta South Round Table 17.

In its fifth year Airtel Run for Education (ARFE), a joint initiative by Bharti Airtel and Round Table India, has introduced a single loop 21km through a beautiful scenic route around Bengal Silicon IT Hub, a 5km timed run designed to encourage new participants, fully sublime T-shirts, and a spectacular coloured medal and for finishers of all the three timed categories – 21km, 10km and 5km. The half marathon kicked off at 5.15 am for 21k category followed by others at 6.00 am and 7.45 am for the 10km and 5k + Fun run respectively.

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This year’s grand finale run was organised after six extremely successful practice runs, various crowd engagement activities and also a health briefing session by Apollo Gleneagles Hospital held over the last 3 months.

The day started off with the blowing of conch shell (shankh) that gave a nice traditional touch to the commencement of the half-marathon. Records have already been made this year in terms of getting the highest number of registered runners ever in this (Half Marathon, 21km) running category. All the runs were flagged of by Mr. Sameer Anjaria, CEO, Bharti Airtel Ltd. West Bengal and Odisha along with celeb Rhea Chakraborty, dignitaries from Round Table India. The energy in the air was palpable and amplified by the whopping Zumba routine choreographed by experts from the Reebok Running Squad.

The fifth edition saw the introduction of 3D fly through maps customised to every runner – an innovative technology that will let them relive this whole running experience. It covers the photos of the runners at some spots of the route beginning from Salt Lake City Centre 1 to the Bishwa Bangla gate and back. The virtual RunPage will contain each runners photos, digital medal, results and more.

This initiative was started by Round Table India in 2014 and it has resonated with folks from all walks of life who have taken up fitness and running to transform their lifestyles. This event brought enthusiastic professionals and novice runners on the same platform, displaying the true spirit of humanity, sportsmanship, at the same time generating awareness for education of the less fortunate.

Being a Zero Admin Organisation, Round Table India will use all the Funds raised through this event in developing infrastructure of needy schools. The funds from the last four editions i.e. 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 were used towards building classroom facilities in Sarada Sishu Mandir (Tanterberia, Howrah) Katadanga Arya Jatiya Vidyalaya (Katadanga), Champdani Ram Dulari Hindi High School (Champdani), Fort Gloster Prathmik School and this year the recipient would be Saraswati Shishu Mandir (Kanchdiha).

RUN-FOR-EDUCATION is a fundraising sporting event, organized by Calcutta South Round Table 17 since 2014, to support the cause of providing education for the underprivileged children, with the idea of ‘Freedom through education’. Since 2001, CSRT17 has built 45 classrooms across 15 schools at a total outlay of Rs. 1.51 crores, where the infrastructure built will impact around 5000 children every year.

Out of this, 17 classrooms have been built with the support of this event itself over the last 4 years. Airtel Run for Education 2018, Kolkata Edition is accredited by West Bengal Athletic Organization. The run setup will have three race categories over 5 km, 10 km and 21 km distances. With the run expecting 8000+ participants to run from City Centre, Salt Lake on 25th November 2018 at 4.45 am. This 5th special edition event has generated tremendous chatter on all social networks. A spectacular coloured medal (the design for which was crowd sourced through online competitions) and 21K single loop race are the highlights for this edition.