Walking for a cause

Challenging event

As a means of celebrating the culture and reach of walking, fitness enthusiast and actor Milind Soman and Nisha Agrawal, CEO, Oxfam India, recently felicitated the winners of the third edition of Oxfam India Trailwalker which took place in January.
 As part of the Bangalore chapter of the global fund-raising event which is conducted in 11 countries, 188 teams participated in the 100 km walk and raised Rs 2.66 crores to fight poverty and injustice. 

“We did a study before we decided to do the Trailwalker and it said that in India, Bangalore was the best place to do it, which is why we came here. It’s quite a new concept to do a 100-km team walk and we were surprised at the response.

"In the first year itself, we had 80 teams and now, it’s grown to 188! There’s a lot of enthusiasm here,” said Nisha at the award function held in Fortune Park JP Celestial.

She spoke about the fund-raising model in place. “One has to walk 100 kms in a team of four within 48 hours. There’s a registration cost, which covers a part of the cost, and each team also has to raise a minimum of Rs 50,000 through its friends and family."
"So it’s essentially Rs 12,500 per person but they end up raising a lot more. Last year, 23 teams raised more than a lakh each even though they had to raise only Rs 50,000.The participants get very excited about it and realise that it’s not so hard to do. It also becomes a fun competitive event about who walks faster and who raises the most funds,” she said. 

On the occasion, the awards were given to the top three fund-raising teams – GS Rangers, who raised Rs 6,72,753; The Bond Girls Return, who raised Rs 5,03,500; and Motional Quotient GS, who raised Rs 4,92,653.
 The Speed awards were given to five teams, of which the winning team Every Mile Counts (GS) completed the trail in 15.02.48 hours.

“Winning the Trailwalker challenge requires physical endurance, mental strength and an indomitable team spirit and this is a fine example of how we can all team up against poverty."

I am a proud supporter of the Trailwalker because I see ordinary people push their physical limits for a larger purpose. This event benefits everyone involved and people are not only contributing to society but it’s also a great way to bond and get fit!” said Milind Soman, who congratulated each of the winning teams personally.

Ammu Joseph, a participant, said, “I’m delighted to be a part of the team The Bond Girls Return, which is receiving an award for raising the second highest amount of funds. When I joined the team, I was more terrified of the fund-raising than the walking! But both turned out to be easier than I had expected.”

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