Walkathon raises $40,000 for BAPS Charities in New Zealand

Labour MP and Statistics Minister Dr Deborah Russell leads the BAPS Charities Walkathon at Cromwell Park in Auckland along with former National MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and National Party Mt Roskill candidate Carlos Cheung (Photo Supplied)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, July 1, 2023

More than 700 people aged from two to 70 participated in a massive Walkathon organised by BAPS Charities in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch recently and raised $40,000.

This report may appear dated as the event was held on May 7, 2023 but the aim of BAPS Charities transcends time, bringing together families, communities and governments.

According to the organisation, the participants took more than four million combined steps in the three cities to mobilise funds for the victims of Cyclone Gabrielle in Hawkes Bay.

The Walkathon was held under the theme, ‘Take a Step for Cyclone Gabrielle – Together Let’s Rebuild Our Communities.”

Supporting cyclone victims

BAPS Charities in Wellington initiated the Walkathon at McEwan Park, Petone to kindle community support and raise funds to aid cyclone victims.

In Auckland, it was held at Cornwell Park in Greenlane.

BAPS Charities volunteers in Auckland (from left) Amrutlal Patel, Jignesh Patel, Hemat Lal Patel and Jiten Patel at Cronwell Park in Auckland (Photo Supplied)

The Walkathon brought together MPs Dr Deborah Russell, Michael Wood, Duncan Webb (Labour), Melissa Lee (National), Karen Chhour, former MP Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, candidates Greg Fleming, Carlos Cheung, Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry, Attain Chief Executive Sharn Piper. BAPS Charities volunteer Hemat Lal Patel and many others.

“BAPS Charities is a wonderful organisation that does commendable work within in our communities. Its dedication to helping people in need and providing a place for contemplation and connection is truly inspiring,” Mr Wood said.

Small steps for a big cause: Children were also among the enthusiastic participants at the BAPS Charities Wellington Walkathon (Photo Supplied)

Describing BAPS as a ‘loving and caring community,’ Dr Russell said, “We are happy to acknowledge the collective efforts of this organisation. Every little bit, step by step, one by one, all add together to achieve a big result.”

Ms Lee said that the values taught by BAPS will help in shaping a brighter future for New Zealand and that the Charity has exemplified community spirit.

“You inspire me. You inspire all of us to do better for our community,” she said.

The concept of Seva

Mr Piper reflected on the ‘Seva’ (Service) aspect of BAPS Charities, saying that it denoted selflessness and community welfare.

“Seva service without the thought of your own, service where you are no longer important, but the other person is more important, service without wanting something back,” he said.

Mayor Barry said, “BAPS has continued to make a fantastic difference to groups, organisations, and people in need across New Zealand. We are fortunate to have you here across our communities in Aotearoa.”

BAPS Charities volunteers in Wellington (from left) Anil Prabhu, Henik Panchal, Dipesh Patel, Bharat Patel and Devang Patel)

Mr Patel said that the nationwide BAPS Charities Walkathon is a testament to the power of community collaboration and the willingness of individuals to come together for a noble cause.

“The funds raised will be distributed to families in Hawkes Bay, working with a few charities on the ground to provide much-needed relief to those affected by Cyclone Gabrielle,” he said.

According to a Press Note, the success of the Walkathon underscores the significance of each step taken towards a good cause.

“Just as numerous threads woven together create a strong fabric, every step taken by the National BAPS Charities Walkathon participants will lead to meaningful change in the lives of those in need. This event generated essential funds for Cyclone Gabrielle’s relief and served as a powerful reminder of the importance of unity and compassion in times of adversity,” it said.

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