Father Joseph H. Pereira, Founder and Managing Trustee, Kripa Foundation was awarded the second prize in the Dream Makers category of the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013 held on January 20, 2013. Fr. Joe collected nearly Rs. 700,000 through his single-handed efforts for the Kripa Foundation, the largest Non Government Organization in India that rehabilitates drug and alcohol addicts while caring for marginalized segments of the society such as HIV/ AIDS victims and slum children.
The award was presented to Fr. Joe by Bollywood actor John Abraham and BJP Spokesman, Shaina NC at a glittering ceremony held recently to felicitate runners who had netted the highest amount of donations for the charitable organizations they represented.
The event, held at the The Trident hotel in Nariman Point, Mumbai was attended by Dr. Indu Shahani, Chairperson, United Way of Mumbai . Also in attendance were Shri Chhagan Bhujbal, Hn’ble Minster, Public Works & Tourism, Shri Anil Deshmukh, Hon’ble Minster, Food & Civil Supplies, Shri Jayant Kumar Bhantia, Chief Secretary, Shri J S Sahariya, Additional Chief Secretaruy, Sports & Education, Shri S J Kunte, Commissioner MCGM and Shri Satyapal Singh, Commissioner of Police, among others. Attendees also included Sumeet Singla Regional Head Corporate Affairs, India & South Asia, Standard Chartered, the title sponsor, Girish Ramachandran, Vice President Corporate, Tata Consultancy Services and Vishal Jhunjhunwala, Head Corporate Brand Tata Consultancy Services, the Associate Sponsor, and senior officials from partnering companies.
Organizers announced, the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2013 generates Rs 18.61 crores in donations -an increase of almost Rs 2.5 crores over the Rs 16.07 crores generated in 2012 and will benefit 230 NGOs as compared to 197 last year.
Speaking on the occasion, Fr. Joe said: “This award clearly indicates the excellent work that well wishers and Friends of Kripa are doing for the Kripa Foundation. But above all, this is also a significant pointer to the fact that the general public is now fast realizing the hazards of drug and alcohol addiction and the devastating effects it has on the society. Our participation also highlighted how the scourge of HIV/ AIDS has spread rapidly and this award is also a recognition of the work Kripa Foundation is doing in this field to rehabilitate the marginalized sections of the society."
Team Kripa which participated in the SCMM 2013 the 10th edition of the event- consisted of people from all walks of life such as businessmen, senior executives, physicians, engineers, journalists, students, counselors, prominent women, industrialists and former patients from India and abroad.
Padma Shree Fr. Joe said, Kripa Foundation will continue to participate in all future SCMMs with larger teams and wider support from the public and sponsors. "Without support from the public, we cannot fight the menace of drug and alcohol addiction, which are reaching endemic proportions in India. Sadly, women too are falling prey to addictions due to hectic lifestyles and inhumane family demands that requires them to tend to kids, feed the family while pursuing a decent career. We call upon the society, especially women, to seek Kripa's assistance, since we treat all our patients with utmost anonymity and have two dedicated centres- in Pune and Goa, for rehabilitating women addicts. Our research indicates women are more addicted to sedatives, cough syrups, tranquilizers and anti-depressants, as well as other potent prescription drugs that can have long-term harmful effects on their mental health. Increased consumption of alcohol among women from an early age is also evident in today's society, which poses an alarming scenario for the country," he said. Fr. Joe later told staff and patients at Kripa Foundation that it was their love that had seen him win several accolades over the years.
Ashwin Honawar & Brett Rodricks
A video clip of the event at Hotel Trident Mumbai