Calcutta's only internationally accredited road race has grown this year not only in terms of the number of participants and the purse value for winners but also in terms of the money collected for charity - an integral part of the biggest road races in the world.
In its second year, the Tata Steel Kolkata 25K, partnered by The Telegraph, has raised Rs 45 lakh with corporates and individuals making generous contributions. The organisers believe that the figure will increase "substantially" with money continuing to pour in for a fortnight after the race this Sunday.
The lion's share of the funds - more than Rs 29 lakh - will go to the Tata Medical Center. It would help in adding 250 more beds to the hospital.
"We have undertaken a Rs 200-crore expansion. The new building, which will be linked to our present hospital, will come up by 2016," said V. Ramanan, deputy director, Tata Medical Center.
He said when corporates and individuals carry banners or wear T-shirts promoting awareness about socially relevant issues such as cancer while running, it has a positive impact on society.
Apart from Tata Medical Center, 36 charitable organisations have registered with the TSK 25K.
Among them, the 51-year-old Short Street school, The Society for Oral Education of the Deaf, which provides formal education to 47 hearing impaired students and finds them employment as teachers, computer operators or laboratory assistants, has raised more than Rs 6 lakh.
"We are currently operating out of two flats loaned to us by corporates. The funds we are raising through the race will help us have a place of our own," said septuagenarian Bahadur Postwalla, who runs the school along with wife Jeru.
The Cancer Foundation of India (CFI), which has raised Rs 3 lakh so far, is in the process of building a corpus to support the treatment of poor and young patients who have been diagnosed early and can be cured.
CFI founder-director Sutapa Biswas said: "Sometimes people are not able to get treatment that can cure them for want of as little as Rs 15,000. We mainly work for cancer prevention and awareness but keep getting several requests to fund such patients."
Individuals can look up the registered charities on the website www.uwkolkata-tsk25.org and raise funds for the one of their choice.