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600 walk in Gandhi's footsteps

Puja Bhoj, 26, ran an extra mile for Teach for India, the organisation where she works as a full-time teacher, on Sunday morning.

mumbai Updated: Oct 03, 2011 01:00 IST
Poorvi Kulkarni

Puja Bhoj, 26, ran an extra mile for Teach for India, the organisation where she works as a full-time teacher, on Sunday morning.

Bhoj participated in Footsteps 4 Good, a 10km run and walkathon initiated by Jill Beckingham, wife of Peter Beckingham, British deputy high commissioner in Mumbai, at the Bandra-Kurla Complex. "Though I got tired a bit too early because of the humid climate, with water and refreshments that were arranged on the route. I am glad I managed to pull it off," said Bhoj, who finished third in the run.

Though the organisers anticipated around 1,000 participants, 600 turned up to compete in the run and the walkathon. Participants had to donate Rs2,000 to any of the 11 registered charities or non-government organisations by prior registration. The event was organised on Gandhi Jayanti in keeping with Mahatma Gandhi's message for selfless service. Last November, Jill had walked 357km for the India-UK Friendship Walk from Ahmedabad to Dandi for charity. "The Dandi walk saw a small group but the Mumbai event definitely witnessed mass participation," said Jill.

Several NGOs such as Apnalaya, Women's India Trust, Prerana, Habitat for Humanity, Leonard Cheshire Disability, were associated with the event.

"Being a cancer survivor, I wanted to do my bit for Ugam (a NGO that works for the empowerment of cancer survivors) for the kind of work they are doing," said Anita Gupta, 37, who took part in the walk.

"Even though I like to run, running for a cause felt so much more purposeful," said Cameron Haas, 13, a student of the American School of Bombay. Susan Alton, 51, one of the oldest runners at the event, who supported the NGO, Chemins D'enfance, finished second in the run and described the experience as "extremely hot", alluding to the sweltering temperature in the city.