Indian Medical Association on Tuesday wrote to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and asked for cancellation of the Delhi Half Marathon event due to the high level of pollution. The IMA also declared a ‘public health emergency state’ in Delhi. IMA president Dr K K Aggarwal requested people to avoid stepping out and asked schools to remain closed, ANI report.However, the organisers, Procam International, responded by terming it “shortsighted” and said they have the support of international athletes. The move comes a day after title sponsor Airtel had hinted that it may have to stop associating with the event from next year if the “authorities” refuse to address the issue of air pollution in the Capital.
While on the other hand, telecom giant Airtel, which has been sponsoring the race for the past nine years, said it may have to rethink whether to continue supporting the event if the issue of pollution is not addressed urgently.
“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,” the telecom major said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
Procam has acknowledged the race as a voluntary event and said the runners should take into consideration the environmental factors, including pollution and their health while participating.