Imagine 20,000 runners from India run for one cause across multiple venues in Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Udaipur, Hyderabad and Mangalore. That’s just what’s set to happen on 30th September. The Forum Mall presents Forum Purple Run, a marathon which is the mall’s signature campaign that will throw light on Alzheimer’s. At a time when mental health is ignored, The Forum aims at beating the stigma attached with Alzheimer’s as most cases in India go undiagnosed and hence, untreated. The campaign is in line with World Alzheimer’s Day. The campaign was held year last year catering to about 10,000 guests and this year it gets doubly bigger by spreading its wings across 7 malls, over a 100 business partners and 20,000 runners!
Forum Purple Run is a competitive half marathon including mini and micro marathons that encourage not just trained athletes but also families and younger ones to participate. The race categories are 21 km, 10 km, 5 km and 3 km. Those who wish to contest for the first three places across any of the race categories have the opportunity to do so as well. The run is free for children below age 12 (to be accompanied by a guardian who pays for themself) and veterans above 55 years of age.
Adding a new meaning to the colour purple that is associated with Alzheimer’s, Forum Purple Run will flag off from 7 malls and is expected to see participation of 20,000 runners. The marathon is set to flag off at the all the Forum Malls across 6 cities in India. Never has the country seen shopping mall patrons from across India come together for such a cause.Part of the proceeds from the marathon are being donated to the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) towards research on diagnosis, treatment and cure of Alzheimer’s.
“We are proud to launch our signature campaign – The Purple Run, a fundraiser marathon aimed to throw light on Alzheimer’s. Although millions of Indians suffer from this disease, there’s less awareness and no cure. Through The Purple Run we would like to beat the stigma associated with mental health. Proceeds from the marathon are being donated to National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Science (NIMHANS).” Said General Manager, Forum Vijaya Mall Chennai.
“The Purple Run – A run to remember those who can’t remember. I support the cause because I understand that Alzheimer’s causes as much stress on the caregivers as it does on the sufferer.” Said Prithviraj (Babloo), Actor.
“The prevalence of Alzheimer’s Disease in India is estimated to be around 5 million as of now. The numbers are likely to increase significantly as our demographics ages. The early symptoms of the Alzheimer’s disease are mistaken for normal ageing and there is very little awareness. Some of the risk factors for the disease are modifiable and these are related to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol. This provides some hope for early intervention while young. Physical activities like running is good not just for the heart but also for the brain. Though there is no cure, much can be done to improve the life of the sufferers and their care takers. There is need for more awareness, more research and funding for Alzheimer’s.” Said Dr. Selvin, Neuro Physician.
Ever since Alzheimer’s was first recorded in 1906, the disease has eluded many researchers and scientists for over a century. Alzheimer’s is perceived as the most common form of dementia that affects a person’s mind and degrades their basic brain functioning such as memory; cognitive abilities like thinking, behaviour and day to day activities and leads to eventual death by shrinking of the brain over time. According to a research conducted by ARDSI, over 6 million Indians are affected by some forms of dementia and by 2020 we may have over close to 20 million. Although there is no cure for the disease itself, it helps when people stand together to support affected people and families. Only through awareness can we accept and understand victims and their families.