An opportunity for fitness lovers to walk the talk

Deccan Chronicle.  | Deccan Chronicle

Lifestyle, Health and Wellbeing

Registrations open for India's biggest Walkathon Oxfam Trailwalker India.

Oxfam Trailwalker India Participants (Photo: File)

Registrations for India's biggest walkathon Oxfam Trailwalker India 2019-2020 have opened. Walkers can register their teams of four for the Mumbai and Bengaluru edition of Trailwalker on the website This year will mark the 7th edition of the Mumbai event and the 9th edition of the Bengaluru Trailwalker. Last year, actress and fitness enthusiast Mandira Bedi flagged off Mumbai Trailwalker while yoga guru Natasha Noel, actor and writer Harman Singha walked to inspire participants. In previous years, actor Milind Soman, actor and Oxfam Global Ambassador Rahul Bose have also flagged off Oxfam Trailwalker and walked for the cause.

"It is incredible to see so many people come together to voluntarily walk for hours to support the cause of equality. It is difficult and challenging. There are millions of people who need support to beat poverty and I congratulate Oxfam for the wonderful work they are doing," said actress Mandira Bedi at the event.

This year, 100km and 50km trails will pass through the majestic Western Ghats, that happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Bhor Ghat in the quaint town of Karjat in Maharashtra. The town lies on the banks of River Ulhas. In Bengaluru, the trail will start from the edge of a beautiful valley in the Nandi Hills. It passes through more than 30 villages, from Sultanpet to Olde Bangalore Resort. Plantations of grapes, vegetables and flowers dot the picturesque landscape.

In 2018-2019, around 1600 people from all across India walked 100km (or 50km) for an equal world. Oxfam Trailwalker India is also the biggest team fundraising event in India. Last year, people raised over 5 crores to contribute towards Oxfam India's projects on education, health, gender, forest rights and discrimination in the six poorest states of India (Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh).

The participating teams this year will have an ambitious target of breaking last year's fastest team Columbia HK's record of completing the 100km trail in 16 hours and 35 minutes. "We need fitness lovers to join our fight to end discrimination, to ensure that poor children, particularly girls, go to schools, to advocate for good quality and free government health services, and to provide support for families who have lost everything in floods and disasters. We believe that Trailwalker is an opportunity for those who care about the world, to make meaningful change," said Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar, who walked the 100km event with his friends at the Mumbai edition last year.

Oxfam India is organizing free-to-attend, open-to-all training sessions every month in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru for participants, employees of corporate partners and interested individuals to prepare them for the ultimate challenge. Several participants from companies like Edelweiss, Tata Capital, Aditya Birla Health Insurance, L'Oréal have walked the Trailwalker. Corporate teams from Accenture, UPS, Technicolor, Thomson Reuters, Danone, Aditya Birla, CLSA, Hindustan Petroleum and Hindalco participated in the event last year.

Oxfam Trailwalker is an environmentally sustainable event and does not harm the environment. Oxfam India partners with organizations for waste management. Rigorous impact assessments are done to ensure that the event is sustainable and the waste generated during the event is effectively managed.

Over the years, Trailwalker has successfully developed into a top-notch international fundraiser, challenging walkers in 17 cities across 9 countries including Australia, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.