“Sunday morning up with a lark. I think I’ll take a walk in the park”. This song was apt for the mood Nagpurians had today morning except the walk was on the Joggers Street, Civil Lines. This was the 9th time when Rotary Club of Nagpur and Arneja Heart Institute organized the Walkathon. The event had a lot of enthusiasts who walked the walk towards a healthier life, which was the main motto of the event. Nagpurians participated in large numbers in the three events of the Walkathon: 3 KM, 6KM and 9KM. Large masses had turned up for this event on a Sunday morning to participate under categories of kids, men, women and veterans.
Atul Shah, the President of Rotary Club of Nagpur said, “We have a participation of more than 5000 people. This is the 9th edition this year and it has become an event people look forward to. We are sending out a message of good health and a good life.” The participants were cheered on by Kishore Thutheja. With his experience from the Laughter Club, he boosted the enthusiasm of the participants with his antics. RJs from various radio stations were there to keep the merriment of the event going. To keep the spirit of this walkathon high, school children were seen giving a drum roll at the beginning of each event. Marshals accompanied the participants on bikes and cycles while keeping a track of the participants leading the walkathon. The event also saw participation of various groups which tried to bring to attention some causes in front of the people. Organ donation, woman safety and haemophilia were some causes that were raised by groups of students and other societies.
Some participants stood distinct in the walkathon. Sunil Parekh, a handicapped or rather a specially enabled person completed the 3 km walk. The youngest participant was Parth Gupta, a 4 year old boy who completed the 3 km walk while the oldest participant was Prabhakar Dongre, aged 76 completed the 6 km walk. Dr. Jaspal Arneja and Indu Arneja, Sadashiv Patel, Senior vice President of Axis Bank, Nagpur, Prakash Agrawal Director, Sarvottam Oil were some of the dignitaries on the dias.
Asees Singh was the only kid in the junior category who completed the 9km walk. In the veteran category in the 9km event, 1st position- Vijay Bhoot, 2nd position- Dinesh Chandra Yadav. In the women’s category, Spoorthi Satyanarayan, who was also a winner last year stood first while Nisha Thakre stood second. In the men’s category- Swaroop Satyanarayan, a 14-year old stood first while Nagaorao Sheshrao Bhoyar stood second and Sunil Puniya stood third.
6km category: (Junior category) 1st position- Kartik Patil, 2nd position- Manas Calvit, 3rd position- Roshal Khan. (Veterans) 1st position – Divakar Rao Bhoyar, 2nd position- R.L. Petkar, 3rd position- L.R. Batlu. (Women) 1st position- Sharda Ingle, 2nd position- Lata Nikode, 3rd postion- Meenu Singh Bishdt. (Men) 1st position- Swapnil Hanwatey, 2nd position- Yogesh Maheshwari, 3rd position- Kamal Kishore.
3 km category was the most popular category and massive numbers turned up to participate in the 3 km event. Rishikesh Wadkar, Pankaj Choudhary and Geetakshi Burde stood first, second and third respectively in the junior category for 3km event. Vasudev Chawde was first, AV. Ralegaonkar second and Rajan Sahastrabuddhe was third in the veteran category. Amruta Gandhi was the first prize winner, Manisha Waghmare second and Snehal Hanwatey third in the women’s category in this event. Aditya Parkash Kumar, Dr. Suresh Sharma, Pramod Jondale were first, second and third prize winners in this event in the men’s category.
Dr. Jaspal Arneja concluded the prize distribution ceremony by thanking the Rotarians and the participants for participating in this walkathon. He said, “We want everyone to walk everyday and not just on the day of the Walkathon. We expect an even bigger participation next year. This is an event to promote a healthy life and we hope to do the same every year.” While some people enjoyed their extra hours of sleep on the Sunday morning of 3rd February, 2013, some chose to walk towards a healthier tomorrow. Kudos to Rotary Club of Nagpur and Arneja Heart Institute for creating awareness through such a fun event!