Ram-A-Thon planned in aid of Friends of Fiji Health

Ram-A-Thon planned in aid of Friends of Fiji Health

10 kilometres of Walk on February 3, 2019

Thakur Ranjit Singh

Auckland, January 10, 2019

What started four years ago as a prop to raise funds for completing Shri Ram Mandir in the West Auckland suburb of Henderson has grown to become an annual fundraiser for needy organisations.

First, we helped Starship Children’s Hospital with a collection of more than $10,000. Second, we raised about $16,000 for St John’s Ambulance.

The next Walkathon, which has been named, ‘Ram-A –Thon’ to reflect its initiative from Shri Ram Mandir, will be held on Sunday, February 3, 2019, with a target to far surpass past collections. This will be to help people needing urgent medical attention in Fiji. Funds collected will go to ‘Friends of Fiji Health,’ which organises volunteer doctors to help people in Fiji.

Walk with a difference

Unlike past walks which was day-long, walking through built up area and roads, we have reduced this walk to just 10 kms.

And we have shifted closer to home in West Auckland.

It commences at Shri Ram Mandir at 830 am (assembly at 8 am) at 11 Brick Street, proceed to Sturges Road Train Station, wind down to Vintage Drive (off Sturges) and join the picturesque cemented walkway of Henderson through beautiful forests, vines, and Oratia Stream, between Central Park Drive and Henderson Valley Road.

The major break will be at 359 Henderson Valley Road Ashram.

Family Fun Day

The main difference this year is the addition of a Family Fun Day. The Walk will terminate at Henderson Park, where a day full of activities has been planned from 11 am. These will include Women’s Volleyball and Penalty Kicks, Men’s 7-A-Side Soccer & Tug o’ War, Senior Citizens’ Lawn Bowling & Ball and Bucket, Children’s Marble & Spoon, Sack Race, Relay and other non-competitive programmes for all age groups.

For Soccer fans from Fiji, the attraction will be Division and Competition according to ten districts as follows:  Rakiraki, Tavua, Ba, Lautoka, Nadi, Nadroga, Suva, Nasinu, Rewa and Labasa.

Message of Spirituality

The most important message is to religious organisations to follow in the helping spirit of Shri Ram Mandir.

Managing Trustee Pravin Kumar said that this type of walkathon has multi-pronged objectives.

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

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.

Multiple Objectives

Mr Pravin said that the Walk has multiple objectives. They are (a) To engage with the wider community, including children, youth, elders, women and people from all walks to life – enhancing diversity, teamwork, networking and promoting multiculturalism (b) To create awareness of well-being, healthy living, walking, exercising and keeping fit (c) Raise funds for worthy charitable causes and help inculcate the concept of helping others who are less fortunate than us (d) Work collaboratively with other likeminded charitable, community and religious organisations and (e) Get corporate and commercial businesses on board as sponsors

The Walkathon encourages other religious organisations to widen their focus from religious to spiritual wellbeing of the community.

Further information can be obtained from Event Director Mahendra Sharma on 027-6613242. Email: family_sharma@hotmail.com

For further details can also be obtained from Shri Ram Mandir Facebook Page or from Pundit Markand Bhatt on (09) 8364647 at the Mandir.

Thakur Ranjit Singh is a Member of the ‘Ram-A-Thon’ Organising Committee. He is a Media Commentator and runs his blog, ‘Fiji Pundit.’

Phil Twyford (now Housing, Urban Development and Transport) with (from left) Thakur Ranjit Singh, Waitakere Indian Association President Mahendra Sharma, Henderson-Massey Local Board Chairman Shane Henderson and Pravin Kumar at McCormick Park in Te Atatu South on December 11, 2016.

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