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Walkathon 2012

February 1, 2012 divider image

The objective is to create awareness on heart diseases, risk factors and its prevention. Around the globe, heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death and cardiovascular Diseases are the largest killers. – Dr Jaspal Arneja

The most prestigious and the biggest PR event of our club calendar … WALKATHON was held on Sunday the 22nd January 2012. The theme for this year’s walkathon was ‘Walk for Heart’, with participants, especially the young, encouraged to make walking a daily routine to prevent heart diseases.

The early Sunday air blew with chilling effect but that did not deter Nagpurians from participating in walkathon, more than 3500 participants of all ages from 6 to 80 participated in large numbers in the event which promoted good health and healthy society.

Vice president Mahindra and Mahindra Mr. K.G Shenoy flagged off the 9 Km walk at 6.30 AM, 6 Km walk was flagged off by Dr Jaspal Arneja, Special citizen walk was flagged off by Ashish Deshmukh and 3Km walk was flagged off by President Tauby Bhagwagar. Refreshment was distributed to all participants. Prizes were given to winners and runners in all the category.

Like every year the special attraction for the walkathon was the 500 meters walk by physically challenged children. There were 150 kids from Jivodaya Special School, Matru Sewa Sangh, Deaf and Dumb School, Anganwadi, Koradi road and May Flower school participating with exuberance. These special citizens enjoyed every moment of the 500m walk. After the walk, refreshment were served and then the children were taken back in buses, on the way they toured some places of Nagpur city. More then 100 volunteers from Rotary club of Nagpur and 50 Rotractors oversaw the event.

The runaway success of the walkathon was in great measure due to the effort and attention to detail put in by the core team who worked on the project for over a period of one month.

The planning of the event started in the month of July 2011. To attract more participation bigger and longer publicity campaign was planned. It was decided that the project will be a publicized through hoardings in city and through informative posters in corporate companies.

Bigger and longer publicity campaign meant more funds for the project. A marketing plan was made and was presented to Arneja heart institute. Arneja heart institute agreed to join the project as lead sponsorer.

20’ x 40’ hoardings were placed at various locations in Nagpur in the first week of November 2011. The hoardings were moved from one location to another regularly. Informative posters were made and distributed at various locations in MIDC / Software technology parks / banks/ WCL /NEERI/ESIC/Railway.

More then 50 rotractors helped in promoting the event in colleges. Rotractors also joined hand in promoting the event thru road shows. Registration booths were made and were placed early in the morning in the walking areas. 11 such locations were identified and registration booths were kept there for registration. Project was also promoted thru advertisements in newspapers, Radio mirchi 98.3 FM was official Radio partner. Radio mirchi helped in creating awareness and hype on the project.

This year edition of walkathon for the first time saw participation from corporate companies. Employees of Smart Data, Persistent Systems, Infocepts, NEERI, Bajaj Allianze, Devki Investments, Hotel Radisson BLU took part in the event. For the first time young Cadets of NCC also took part in the event.

It would be terribly amiss of me not to express my thanks and appreciation to all those who planned and worked for last fifteen days to make this event the success that it was. These were President Tauby Bhagwagar, Director Shabbar shakir, Secretary Dinesh Naidu, Past President Shabbir Shakir, Rotract Committee Chairperson Jatin sampat and one person who was the back bone of this project, one who was right there with me from conceptualization to final execution of the project, who would do all the work but let me take all the credit, Parag Paranjape.

One of most critical task of project is carefully bringing specially able children to the venue and taking them back and this was wonderfully managed by the team of Vivek Gupta, Tushar singhvi and Sapna Vastani. Media involvement by Vinita Chaturvedi was truly unprecedented. Venue prepration was taken care by Behram Patel and Reema Sial, marshals and judging procedures by Sunil Bhatia and Smita Bhargav ensured that there were no disputes. Frequent announcements made sure the participants were kept aware of activity, Rajiv Behal took control of the joggers park and PP Dr Sanjiv Chugh and PP Shiraz Gimi managed Race area. Nimish sutaria controlled the snack distribution area and water logistics was controlled by Kevinder Talwar. Add to this the many members and their spouses and children who worked as volunteers in packing the refreshment boxes and marshals on the last day and the numbers are too many to acknowledge individually.

The project was supported wholeheartedly by Pepsi, ITC, Cadbury, Vicoo Laboratories, Nimbu Pani, Hero Motor Corporation, Tauby’s, and our media partner TIMES OF INDIA.

A special word of thanks to the lead sponsors Arneja Heart Institute and especially to Devaki Investments who backed our event without batting an eyelid.

Manish Bhati

Check out complete Photo Coverage of Walkathon here.

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© Rotary Club of Nagpur