New Delhi, Nov 26: Amid COVID-19 crisis, private lender RBL Bank is flagging off a virtual cyclothon on Friday wherein 127 shortlisted cyclists will race to finish 1,000 km in 14 days as part of its CSR initiative to raise funds for supporting girl child education.
This is for the seventh year it is organising the 'UMEED 1000 Cyclothon' but this year in challenging COVID-19 circumstances. However, the bank has reinvented the format of cyclothon by going virtual, keeping in mind the strict safety measures for cyclists, the lender said.
The funds raised from the event will go towards setting up a second Udbhav RBL School for girl child education. The first school was set up in Hyderabad from Rs 5.10 crore funds raised from last year's cyclothon. The bank aims to set up 10 such schools by 2030.
Speaking to PTI, RBL Bank Human Resources and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Head Shanta Vallury Gandhi said, "We went digital and tied up with an online App to track the journey of our cyclists. We have received an overwhelming response from our employees and people at large for the pre-event".
About 127 cyclists are qualified for this year's UMEED 1000 Cyclothon that will be flagged off on November 27, she said.
Last year, the cyclothon was flagged off at Udaipur, Rajasthan and culminated its 1,000 km journey in Amritsar, Punjab. "We raised Rs 5.10 crore for the cause and established the first Udbhav RBL School in Hyderabad," she added.
According to the bank, already Rs 70 lakh has been raised in the pre-event itself, wherein cycling enthusiasts - including RBL Bank employees donated miles in support of girl child education that's been monetised with a matching amount from RBL Bank's CSR funds.
More funds are expected to be raised after completion of the cyclothon with the participation of other corporates and organisations for the cause, it added.
Further, the bank said Hyderabad-based Udbhav RBL School serves the children of low-income families with high-quality education and nutritional support for their well-rounded development.
The long-term vision is to enable these children to break the cycle of poverty by providing access to education, thereby making them propellers and change agents for the sustenance of the schools and the communities they represent, it noted.
"RBL Bank is committed to supporting the education of girl children who display the true spirit of #MujheRokeNaKoi (No One Can Stop Me), which is also the theme of the cyclothon," Gandhi added.