Running for a reason

Gaurav Bose and his wife, Paromita Burman completed the Standard Chartered half marathon (GB) and 10km run (PB) on 6 Dec 2015 and it was more than just a run for them. They ran to raise awareness and funds for the Singapore Red Cross’ local humanitarian services and posed an interesting challenge to everyone: "We URGE you to donate at least as little as you would spend on a pint of beer anywhere you live and promise to treat you with your favourite beer when you visit us in Singapore".

We catch up with them to find out why they picked Singapore Red Cross as their charity to support.

Why did you choose Singapore Red Cross?
We have been in Singapore since 2010 (Gaurav lived here in 2006-07 as well) and believe that wherever in the world we are in, it is imperative that we give back whatever possible from our side to the society, community and it's people in need. The impressive part about the philanthropic landscape of Singapore is that there are a multitude of avenues and organizations that one may choose to contribute to. We wanted to support Singapore Red Cross’ local services because:

1. We believe in the Red Cross Movement that we have observed functioning seamlessly all over the world wherever people are in need with tremendous tangible results achieved. We have personally observed their work in various countries internationally.
2. In CSR initiatives that we undertook through our employer organizations, we got to see very closely and first hand, the level of commitment in the local humanitarian services SRC provided. Outcomes were exceptional and supported the needy in Singapore. We were very touched to see the dedication and felt we needed to contribute to SRC in whatever initiative we took.

How long have you been supporting the SRC local services?
We have both been volunteering for quite some time now as individual volunteers (for blood services) and in CSR initiatives at the Red Cross Home for the Disabled among others. Given our tight work schedules, these initiatives we took on did not require a high level of committment. We thought we needed to do something more and decided to do this fundraiser.

Please tell us more about your special dedication.
We have personally witnessed the Red Cross function in various parts of the globe, especially in the blood related services in India, USA and Singapore. This is very close to our other line of social initiatives around Thalassemia (a blood disorder) for which we have been organizing fund raisers, awareness and blood donation camps via Red Cross Society. Our special interest in blood related services stems from the fact that we have a history of Thalassemia within our family and we have seen our family members go through it. Red Cross helps by providing free blood services across the globe. Moreover, in the world that is so eventful today, services of Red Cross touch everyone either directly or indirectly in ways we may never imagine. Singapore Red Cross also actively participates in any possible opportunity to help disaster struck countries in Asia, and it is probably the most effective organization you can support in Singapore to potentially help a lot of people in need.
This fund raiser is the least we can do and is certainly not the last in any way - we intend to continue to support via such initiatives.
Most importantly, it’s a little something for Singapore. Its society and community has given us so much for almost 7 years now. This is a small way to give back whatever is possible from us as our gratitude to the society and community.

How can others support Singapore Red Cross?
While people want to do more, time does not permit. The best way to contribute is by donating to such initiatives where the funds directly go to reputable organizations like Singapore Red Cross. The funds for local services support the society, the people of Singapore. It helps the community and country we live in and touches people's lives in most special ways.

Story by Selene Ong
Photos by Gaurav Bose