Leading corporates and educational institutions like State Bank of India, Amway India, Vodafone, Deepak Fertilisers & Indira Institute of Management, Sathyabama University, Apollo Hospitals, Wockhardt Hospitals, LIC, IBM, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Research Centre, Bajaj Electricals, BMC School, St. Mary’s school, have furthered their commitment by pledging their support for all the upcoming events organised in various cities. Also these corporates are now showing their commitment towards their employees and students by not only focusing on skill related incentives but also by promoting health and fitness.
Currently in its 3rd year, SBI Pinkathon – Empowering Indian Women has had over 50,000 women participate in its runs held across Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune. This year the SBI Pinkathon will include the North East in its footprint, organising the run for the first time in Guwahati. The goal for Pinkathon is to eventually become the biggest women’s run in the world, and to have more than 75,000 women participate across 8 cities in 2015-16.
As India's first and biggest multi city women’s run, and also the biggest multi city run in the country, the SBI Pinkathon has several other inspiring 'firsts' to its credit.
1. Cancer Shero Trek: A new initiative from United Sisters, the Cancer Shero trek is a small but exciting trek either within or close to the city. This trek is designed especially for cancer survivors who wish to try something adventurous in the outdoors, but may not be ready to join a regular group or might be nervous about trying something by themselves. The concept is to provide a community activity where a person who has withstood the physical and emotional ravages of the disease, has a chance to test themselves in a safe environment surrounded by friends and caregivers.
2. Visually Impaired Participants: In every SBI Pinkathon, visually impaired girls are encouraged to participate across all three categories 3k, 5k & 10k. In order to prepare them for the main day there are special unique training sessions designed for them. As required, with every visually impaired participant, a sighted runner volunteers to train with them and run alongside them at the event. All visually impaired runners and their sighted partners are presented with medals in Braille, inscribed with the words 'I run, I inspire'.
3. Year round training for participants: Every woman who expresses an interest to train while registering for SBI Pinkathon is put in touch with a running group close to her residence, so that she may continue to run after the event with proper guidance from a reliable and responsible set of people who are passionate about health.
4. Baby Wearing mothers: In 2015, the Pinkathon started with a new concept where Pregnant women, and women with babies strapped to their bodies, participated in Baby Wearing Walks to train for and eventually participate in the event. The concept of baby wearing promotes a closer emotional bond between mother and child, increases the baby's exposure to the mother’s lifestyle and environment in a safe and secure way and breaks the myth that women have to be constrained by new motherhood.
5. A Pacer with every Racer: The concept of 'A Pacer with every Racer' in the half marathon distance has been received with great enthusiasm in every city. Every woman who a run the 21km distance has an experienced runner accompanying her to help her achieve her goal and also provide safety on the route. Each pacer makes sure that the girl they are matched with is able to perform her best in the event that she has trained so hard for.
6. Medical/mammogram tags: In a unique initiative, every single participant receives an offer of a free medical check-up, or a mammogram if the participant is over the age of 45. The tag attached to the Finisher medal received by every participant, can be used to get the free consultation/check-up/mammogram at a city hospital.
7. Green water stations: SBI Pinkathon is the first run in the country to provide a green hydration choice to the participants. The runners can choose to pick up a plastic bottle as is the regular practise, or choose to go green by using the more eco-friendly re-usable steel cups at special green hydration stations. By empowering participants to make the green choice, the SBI Pinkathon is able to reduce generated waste by a significant margin.
To change the mind-set in a country like India where health and fitness are seldom a priority, women are the key. When women begin to understand the value of a fitter, healthier and more aware lifestyle for themselves, then by their example, they will inspire and influence their families to do the same - Milind Soman
Pinkathon is more than a Marathon. It is the seed of change. It is the beginning of a movement carried forward by a growing community of empowered women across India, who share a belief that a healthy family, a healthy nation and a healthy world begins with empowered women. The first step in empowerment is taking control of your own health, respecting yourself and understanding and celebrating the value you bring to your family and society. Empowerment is not a gift of society; it is a gift you give yourself – United Sisters Foundation