On a cold winter morning with temperatures dipping to 13 degrees centigrade, over 200 people got up early to begin their long run for Isha Vidhya at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2012. These 200 volunteers have been working for over 6 months to raise funds for the children of Isha Vidhya schools. Some of them ran the 6 km Dream Run, some the 21 km half marathon and others determined to finish the grueling 42 km full marathon.

This is the 4th straight year that Isha Mumbai volunteers have been running to raise funds for the establishment of rural schools. Each year a determined bunch of volunteers work on fundraising by approaching various sponsors, all the while practicing their running in preparation for the event.

The Mumbai Marathon sees over 200 NGOs participating with their supporters to raise funds for a wide range of causes. Over INR 12 crores (USD 2.5 Mio) was raised by all these NGOs in 2011. Isha Education was ranked among the top 3 NGOs in the number of pledges raised in 2011 and this year was no different. At the start of the campaign, ten volunteers from Isha took a pledge to raise at least INR 1 lakh (USD 2,000) from their circle of friends, relatives, and colleagues. Thanks to many generous donations from individuals and corporates alike, the volunteers were able to raise over INR 60 lakhs (USD 120,000) for Isha Vidhya!

The added attraction for all the 40,000+ runners in Mumbai that Sunday morning was that Sounds of Isha came down to Mumbai to play at Marine Drive and cheer on the participants. Several runners danced with joy in front of the band, before continuing the run for their cause. The Sounds of Isha performance was a real treat for the volunteers and public who couldn’t help gathering to dance and sing along with the group. Above all, it created its own motivation and momentum for the runners at the Mumbai Marathon.

We’d like to acknowledge all the individuals and corporate houses that came together this year to lend their support, including the 6 teams who ran for Isha Vidhya from IBM, HP, MyIris, Alok Industries, Mahendra Brothers and Uni-Design. Thank you for making the 2012 marathon a great success!