The Delhi Half Marathon’s long-time association with telco Bharti Airtel is likely to end unless certain steps are not taken. The telco has asked the state government (AAP government is being run by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal) to take action in order to curb the pollution levels in the city by next year or it will back out from the event. This step by the Telecom service provider comes as the city has been blanketed by a cloud of polluted air. It has been little over a decade now, since the time Delhi Half Marathon become an annual thing for the city. Pollution in the city is throwing away the main aim of the marathon, which is to promote fitness and a healthy way of living. Airtel has released a statement regarding the upcoming Delhi Half Marathon and the increasing pollution levels in the city. In the statement, Airtel states that it has received a number of feedbacks from people saying that holding a marathon in a polluted city does more harm than good.
It clearly states that if corrective measures are not taken soon, it will no longer associate with the event from next year. The telco in its statement also stated that the organiser of the Delhi Half Marathon, Procam, has ensured every year that the event is conducted “as per international standards, with all the necessary safety and guidelines in place.”
Read the full statement released by Airtel here|
“Bharti Airtel (‘Airtel’) has been a strong supporter of the Delhi Half Marathon over the last 10 years, given its positive impact on the city and it being a vibrant platform for all citizens to come together to celebrate the spirit of running. The organizers of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, Procam have made sure that the event is consistently conducted as per international standards, with all necessary safety guidelines in place.
Airtel is proud to have made this event an integral part of the city. However, as a responsible brand, Airtel is always conscious of any event/media property association. We have received a lot of feedback from our customers and citizens at large expressing concern on holding the marathon in view of the prevailing air pollution in the city.
The marathon is an event that infuses the spirit of fitness and good health in Delhi citizens and we love that. We acknowledge it as a voluntary event and runners should take into consideration the environmental factors, including pollution and their health, while participating. For the upcoming edition we have discussed the air quality issue with the organizers, Procam and they have assured us that it is taking several measures to minimize the impact of air pollution on the runners. A team of professionals is being deployed by Procam before the race day to sprinkle salt mixed with effluent treated water across the entire track to ensure that the dust pollution is negated. Furthermore, no vehicles will be plying on the route of the marathon.
Air pollution poses serious health risks and it is important that these concerns are addressed urgently and appropriately by the authorities for Airtel to continue associating with the event next year and beyond.”