Hundreds of enthusiastic community members participated in the annual BAPS Charities walkathon in Auckland’s Cornwall Park on Sunday, March 10.

BAPS Charities walkathon has become an annual affair in Auckland’s event calendar since last three years, whereby bringing together walkers from different walks of life, for some noble social cause, as chosen by the Charities.

This year BAPS Charities had committed to support two different types of organisations – Starship Foundation and The Friends of Fiji Health, working in the space of general health and critical illness.

The Starship Foundation is a social-profit organisation that raises funds to support our national children hospital - Starship Child Health - apart from the regular government support, to enable it to deliver family centred care to children and young people throughout New Zealand and the South Pacific.

The Friends of Fiji Health a New Zealand registered charity organisation established in July 2010.  Its primary purpose is to form teams of specialists to travel to Fiji and provide medical treatment for the needy from time to time.  It focuses both on early clinical intervention and surgical procedures.

The BAPS Charities walkathon was able to generate a donation of $8000 each, for both of the charitable organisations, which was presented in the form of a cheque in an event after the charity-run.

Speaking to The Indian Weekender one of the volunteers Manoj Daiya said, “It was great to see so many members of the public from all age-groups come out in big numbers to support the great cause. It was also welcoming to see that the weather had held back after an earlier wet Saturday.”

Jainesh Patel, another volunteer directly involved in this walkathon said, “BAPS Charities uses such opportunities as this walk to instil a spirit of service and commitment to gaining better knowledge for better health in community members.

“Events such as this help instil consciousness in community members surrounding their actions, and, in turn, help inspire global harmony about improving personal and global health.”

Explaining the drive behind participation in such events a member of public Manvi Bhatt, who has thus far attended all the three walkathons said, “It is a great way for me to teach my children about the responsibility of health and giving back to the community.”

BAPS Charities is a global charity active in nine countries across five continents. Volunteers drive its efforts, dedicating a portion of their lives in selfless service of others, both in their local neighbourhoods as well as globally.

Working in five key areas, BAPS Charities aims to express a spirit of selfless service through Health Awareness, Educational Services, Humanitarian Relief, Environmental Protection and Preservation and Community Empowerment.

National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi also joined the enthusiastic members of the community in the Charities walkathon and addressed the guests later while handing over the donation cheque to the representatives of the two organisations.

Among other dignitaries, the presence of Bank of Baroda’s Singapore based Head, Far East Operations, Sunil Srivastava, who was in the country to chair a Board Meeting of Bank of Baroda New Zealand was of prominence.

The organising committee of BAPS Charities, including Ajay Wadhwani, Govindsinh Govil, Jignesh Shantilal Patel, Jitendra Kumar Patel and Jagdish Patel expressed their satisfaction with the participation and support from the community.

“It gives great satisfaction to us that our community has come out every year to support our walkathon and the charitable cause,” one of the members of organising committee, Mr Patel, said.