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Live Events Will Come Back Bigger But Virtual Events Will Amplify and Add a Whole New Paradigm: Vivek Singh

Vivek Singh, Jt. MD, Procam International shares details about the second edition of SIMAO which showcases the power of the collective.

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SUNFEAST INDIA RUN AS ONE, which was launched last year as a citizen-led digital participatory movement to support the vulnerable sections of society who have lost their livelihoods has been renamed as SUNFEAST INDIA MOVE AS ONE. The idea behind this move is to make it being inclusive, allowing for flexibility in activities to encourage participation and forge a strong link to community

Envisioned by Procam International, powered by GiveIndia, championed by ITC Sunfeast and strengthened by Fit India; the movement has showcased the power of the collective. In a milestone achievement, citizens globally from all walks of life raised over USD 210,589 towards charity and clocked 4 lakh km in support of livelihoods.

This year as India celebrates its 75th year of Independence, the annual 30-day movement will continue to inspire Indians and Indophiles globally, to adopt an active lifestyle while creating a positive social impact.

In an interview with BW Applause and Everything Experiential, Vivek Singh, Jt. MD, Procam International, spoke about the idea behind renaming this IP, the future of virtual events and more.

What was the idea behind renaming this IP from Sunfeast India Run As One to Sunfeast India Move As One?
 
Last year when we launched Sunfeast India Run As One, it was a nationwide movement with walking, running and jogging as the primary activities that were allowed. This year, we have made it more inclusive. Along with walking, running and jogging, we have a wheelchair, cycling and treadmill as part of the activities of Sunfeast India Move As One, thus making it more inclusive this year than it has ever been. Therefore, we decided to take a larger space, from running to moving, because movement is life. We have been in a lockdown situation where many people have had to endure a lot of things because of the pandemic. It’s important that we start moving again in a safe and secure manner.

The cause in focus this year is – Providing Children, Hope for their Future, how did you arrive at this theme?

Last year we were all moved by the images of the pandemic where we saw people trying to go back to their homes and villages across India. Some were going on foot, some were going on cycles, and some were going on buses. It was an extremely heart-moving sight. So this year we were thinking about whether we should continue with the same theme as last year, or is there another cause that is more deserving. Thanks to GiveIndia, who did a lot of deep study, we realised that there is an entire paradigm and a community which has not had as much of a voice as they should have. That is the community of our children. Lakhs of them have lost at least one parent; many have lost both parents to the pandemic. Millions of children have been out of school, and thus the Mid Day School program has also been affected. Their education needs suffered because every child does not have the digital means required to study online. So whether it’s their education or whether it’s their health and wellness needs or nutrition, they have been largely affected by the pandemic and to a large extent, they remain voiceless. Thus, this year we thought that the central cause of Sunfeast India Move As One would be to give these children a future.

How has the experience of hosting a virtual event been, what has been the key learning for you?

It has been simply amazing. How people have come together across geographical boundaries, how people united from different parts of India to a cause – whether last year which was livelihoods or this year for giving Children a Future – has been very moving. The central pillar for Sunfeast India Move As One is social impact, but its critical support pillars are community and wellness. Whether it was for the community, wellness or social impact, people have empathised and come together from different parts of the world to support this movement in India. It is this feeling of belonging to a community that is very powerful, and this has been a platform that has empowered people to do something. We always say, ‘what can we do – this is the question that we were determined to answer when we launched Sunfeast India Run As One last year. Everybody now has taken a step to make a contribution and do something. It is a powerful step when you come together to create a platform and create events that empower communities to come together, and that’s what has happened with Sunfeast India Move As One.

 In your view, what is the future of virtual events?
 

 I think virtual events are here to stay. Live events will come back bigger, of course, but virtual events will amplify and add a whole new paradigm and dimension to our live events. You will see that virtual events will gain their own importance over time. They are not a replacement for live events. Instead, they will be a beautifully added layer to the live events that we have been used to. The adoption of digital technology and virtual events have enabled people to stay connected and engaged to come together for a common cause.
 
What kind of an impact are you looking to create with the second edition of this event?
 

 In the first edition in 2020, India together ran 4,00,000 kms and raised ₹1.56 crores for charity. We are hoping that we cross both those figures; more money is raised for charity and more people are encouraged to move for good. We will have to wait and see, but thanks to the first edition, we know the goals we have to emulate from last year.


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