Shri Ram Mandir, the only Ram temple in New Zealand started the charity walk ‘Ram-a-thon’ four years ago to help fund the temple and the community.

The contributions from the community and the immense success of the drive over the last three years has made Ram-a-thon an annual event in the calendar of the Ram Mandir that it plans to host its ‘walkathon’ event on Sunday, February 3 in West Auckland.

“With the first event, we collected just over $10,000 and donated the sum to Starship Children’s Hospital. The second event collected just over $16,000 and donated the amount to Saint John’s Ambulance,” a temple spokesperson said.

The event in February aims to collect a bigger amount and has requested the community to join the walk and contribute their part towards the noble cause.

The proceeds to be raised from Ram-a-Thon 2019 will be used to help people needing urgent medical attention in Fiji. The funds collected will be donated to ‘Friends of Fiji’ Health Foundation that organises volunteer doctors to help out the people in Fiji.

“Please reserve the date of Sunday, February 3 as a fun day with family to join other like-minded community workers and sports people for a joyful day of walkathon and family festival in Henderson,” the spokesperson from Ram Mandir appealed.

The walk this year will be short and limited to 10 kilometres close to the resident and green areas of Henderson, West Auckland.

The walk will start from Shri Ram Mandir on 11 Brick Street at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, February 3 proceeding towards Sturges Road Train Station, Vintage Drive joining the picturesque cemented walkway of Henderson through beautiful forests, vineyards, greenery and over and beside Oratia Stream, between Central Park Drive and Henderson Valley Road.

The walkers will take a break at 359 Henderson Valley Road Ashram.

This year- the walkathon plans to involve more youngsters and make it not just a walk event, but a full day of a family fun day out.

The organisers have invited young children and families to participate in the walk that will terminate at Henderson Park around 11 a.m. where a lot of family and children’s activities is planned for the day.

There will be competitive sports activities like women's volleyball, penalty kicks, men’s 7-a-side soccer & tug-of-war, senior citizens' lawn bowling & ball and bucket, marble & spoon, sack race, relay and other fun-filled activities for all age groups.

For the football fans from Fiji, a football competition will be held teams divided according to ten districts of Fiji such as  Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, Nadroga, Suva, Nasinu, Rewa, and Labasa.

An important aim of this walk is to expand the focus of the people from just religious activities to spiritual exercises.

“We have advised from the outset that the priority of this charity walk was not fundraising, while that is one of the aims, it is one on low priority and a major focus on the spiritual upliftment we can achieve through this event,”, Pravin Kumar, Managing Trustee of Shri Ram Mandir Charitable Trust, said.

Mr Kumar mentions the following to be the objectives of ’Ram-a-Thon’ 2019:

  • To engage with the broader community, including children, youths, elders, women and people from all walks to life-enhancing diversity, teamwork, networking and multiculturalism.
  • To create awareness of well-being, healthy living, walking, exercising and keeping fit.
  • Raise much-needed funds for worthy charitable causes and help inculcate the concept of helping others who are less fortunate than us
  • Work collaboratively with other like-minded charitable, community and religious organisations
  • Get corporate and commercial businesses on board as sponsors

The organisation had also urged religious organisations to widen their focus to also helping out the vulnerable people in our community.

People not participating in the walk can assemble at the Henderson reserve to support the event and contribute through their presence at the event.

To know more about the event, information can be obtained from the Event Director Mahendra Sharma on 027 661 3242 or family_sharma@hotmail.com.