‘Ram-A-Thon’ Charity Walk becomes a trendsetter

The event on February 4, 2018 will benefit St John

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Shri Ram Mandir, based in the West Auckland suburb of Henderson, is organising its Annual Charity Walk on Sunday, February 4, 2018 from Winter Garden at the Auckland Domain to the Temple Complex located at 11 Brick Street, Henderson.

The Charity Walk that started as an experiment three years ago, has developed into an activity to help the wider community.

Major Partners

This is a whole-day, 19km walk to raise funds for Saint John Ambulance.

There will be entertaining and helpful stops on the way at Western Springs, Te Atatu South and Tui Glenn Park in Henderson.

We would have Waitakere Sports, the Waitemata Police, Saint John, elders, youth and other organisations associated with the Charity Walk.

We are also hoping to get corporate sponsors and assistance from other similar organisations.

More information and updates will be on Facebook Page, and in the three web editions, Social Media and print editions of Indian Newslink in the next two months.

The Concept

When Shri Ram Mandir was nearing completion in 2014, its Trustees came up with an innovative idea of organising a Charity Walk with a difference. At that time, the objective was to raise funds to complete construction.

But the idea has escalated into an activity that has been used to assist deserving charities. Last year, ‘Ram-A Thon’ Charity Walk contributed about $10,000 to Starship Hospital.

This year, Saint John Ambulance would be the beneficiary.

The Difference

The Charity Walk of Shri Ram Mandir Charitable Trust has a marked difference, in that it is not merely to raise funds, but also to highlight the wellbeing of the community, promote the importance of physical and mental fitness, encourage interaction and networking, serve people and promote diversity, multiculturalism and inclusiveness.

The most important message is to religious organisations to extend their focus from religious to spiritual. This would cater to social aspirations and provide service to the community.

Wider Objectives

Trust Chairman, Managing Trustee and New Zealand’s well-known businessman Pravin Kumar deserves credit for having initiated the concept of the Charity Walk and for expanding its objectives year-after-year.

“We have advised from the outset that the purpose of the Charity Walk is not fundraising. While that is one of the aims, it is one on low priority,” he said.

He said that the multi-objectives of the Charity Walk are (1) To engage with the wider community, including elders, women, youth, children (2) To create awareness of wellbeing and (3) To help raise funds for community betterment.

“We are pleased that we are able to pass the wider message to the community for its well-being through the Temple Project,” Mr Kumar said.

Diverse Community Centre

While this is a Project undertaken by Indians in general and Hindus, the aim is to make the Community Centre within the Temple Complex the hub for various community activities in Henderson.

“The Trust hopes to inculcate better ethics, teaching through religious scriptures, have a place for betterment of youth, ladies and senior citizens, among others and become a centre to enhance well-being of community through healthy habits and better, longer living,” Mr Kumar said.

‘Message of Change’

It is also emphasising the ‘Message of Change’ to other religious organisations to widen their focus from religious to spiritual wellbeing of the community where we use our morals, ethics and teaching for helping others.

Please mark Sunday, February 4, 2018 on your calendar for walking the talk on extending our beliefs for wellbeing of the vulnerable people.

Contact Details

Further information can be obtained from Project Manager Mahendra Sharma on 027-6613242. Email: family_sharma@hotmail.com or from this writer (Thakur Ranjit Singh). Email: thakurji@xtra.co.nz; Details can also be obtained from the Mandir on (09) 8364647 and Shri Ram Mandir Facebook Page.

Thakur Ranjit Singh is a community worker involved in select projects such as Shri Ram Mandir in Henderson, Auckland. He is a postgraduate in Journalism from AUT University, Auckland and Research Scholar. He is a commentator on politics, economics, social and community issues and does not hesitate to convey his views on matters that he believes need wider public knowledge and discussion.

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Photo Caption:

  1. An exterior view of Shri Ram Mandir in Henderson (Picture from Facebook)
  2. File Photo of ‘Ram-a-Thon’ held on December 11, 2016, showing National List MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi addressing the walkers at Winter Garden, Auckland Domain.
  3. The walkers taking a break at second pit stop at McCormick Park in Te Atatu South (the first Pit Stop was at Western Springs) on December 11, 2016. The picture shows (from left) Thakur Ranjit Singh, Phil Twyford, (elected Member of Parliament from Te Atatu and now Housing and Urban Development and Transport Minister), Waitakere Indian Association President Mahendra Sharma, Henderson-Massey Local Board Chairman Shane Henderson, and Pravin Kumar.

(Pictures supplied by Thakur Ranjit Singh)

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