Sharmila said that children were the future of India and as UNICEF'S goodwill ambassador she had taken a pledge 'to speak up for the cause of children whenever and wherever it is necessary'.
'I am participating in this marathon to support HEAL, a project run by Rahul Bose's NGO, to raise awareness for sexually abused children. If this small effort in anyway alleviates the misery and stigma that these little children have to face, it will be worth my while,' she said in a statement.
This is the fourth year of the marathon.
Joining the celebrities would be Bose's adopted children from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These kids, studying at a school in Bangalore, are studying on scholarships provided by the actor.
'Last year too these kids were part of the marathon but could not participate as they were legally below the age required for participation. But, this year they are allowed to run,' said Bose.
The actor feels that the Mumbai Marathon is the best community event 'especially in the wake of the 26/11 attacks'.
'This is the only occasion where differences visible in the everyday life melt away and the entire city comes together in the spirit of oneness.
'The marathon is one event which actually does not require any personal investment from anyone. But we should invest in it as it is a great platform to see the different lifestyles thriving in the city come together for the support of different causes,' Bose said.