New Delhi, Feb 13 (IANS) Little Hearts marathon, the third edition of which was held in Mumbai earlier this week, will soon be organised in other cities of the country as well to promote healthy habits in children, said the CEO of Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital.
Actor Shilpa Shetty Kundra, along with Mumbai Mayor Snehal Ambekar on Sunday flagged off the marathon from Nardulla Tank, Siddhivinayak temple to Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital.
The hospital, in association with the Shri Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple trust, organised the event which witnessed the participation of over 20,000 children and parents.
"Efforts are on take the marathon to other cities like Delhi and Bangalore from next year onwards," Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals, told IANS over the phone.
Lack of physical activity and stress can contribute to heart diseases in children, Bodhanwala explained.
"The Little Hearts marathon has been immensely successful in increasing awareness about the heart ailments among children and the need for adopting a healthy lifestyle early in life," Bodhanwala noted.
Elucidating the significance of the event, Mumbai mayor Ambekar, who was present at the third edition of the event observed, "Many parents are not aware of the fact that their child may be suffering from a heart ailment. If the disease is detected early and proper treatment of heart is given, the child's future life is safe and healthy. Therefore the marathon arranged by Wadia Hospital is not just a regular event but also the cause for healthy social bonding in our society."
The event was also attended by Ness Wadia, managing director, Wadia Group, and officials of Siddhivinayak Ganapati Temple Trust, among other dignitaries.
"We started this initiative after seeing the increasing number of cases being admitted to our children hospital for various heart related issues," Bodhanwala said.
"We have a huge referral of cardiac patients from all over the state and country, thus we felt the need to curb this alarming issue and hence in association with Shri Siddhivinayak Ganpati Temple Trust, we initiated this marathon, which brings together thousands of children who enthusiastically participate every year," she explained.
Over the past three years Bai Jerbai Wadia Hospital for Children has offered free treatment for 28 pediatric cardiac patients who could not afford the cost of surgeries.
With the funds that the marathons helps collect, the hospital plans to open a cardiac centre for underprivileged kids where their treatment will be done at nominal or no cost, Bodhanwala informed.
The future edition of the marathon will also raise awareness about kidney diseases as hearth and renal disease are related, she added.