All Indians Should Join Oxfam India's Walkathon to Challenge Deep-rooted Gender Discrimination
Noida resident and fitness enthusiast Manish Singh is part of an increasing tribe of citizens who do not just want to passively wait for change to...
Noida resident and fitness enthusiast Manish Singh is part of an increasing tribe of citizens who do not just want to passively wait for change to arrive but instead walk towards it. As an avid walker, this Randstad India employee participated in Oxfam Trailwalker Virtual Challenge last year to register his support for the pandemic-struck migrant workers.
This year again, he will walk the 100 km in 10 days, this time in solidarity with India's women. The year 2020 was tough for everyone but the pandemic hurt women the most in terms of job loss, increasing gender violence, and unmet medical needs especially in rural areas. Oxfam India's Virtual Trailwalker Challenge in 2021 is a call to collectively address this issue and end gender discrimination.
About his decision to participate, Manish says, "Two things motivated me the most. The first is that Oxfam Trailwalker provides me an opportunity to stay fit because we hardly get time for this in our professional life. When I started last year, I was unsure if I would be able to complete the challenge. However, once I started walking, I was able to push myself, break free and go beyond my limitations."
He adds, "Secondly, I am drawn to the cause that informs each challenge. I really feel privileged to be a part of change and the good work that Oxfam India is doing for the society. This sense of purpose really channelises my energy and drives me. As a family man I also feel good that a few steps I take can make a difference towards making India a better place for all to live in."
He believes that this year's Trailwalker Challenge theme #WalkForHer is very relevant in the Indian context. "While we are living in the 21st century and women are leading on many fronts, not every woman gets the chance to lead a life of equality. The situation in rural areas is particularly disturbing. It is not always easy for women to make their voice heard but if we all come together, we will definitely make a difference for her."
Oxfam India's first edition of 2021's Virtual Trailwalker Challenge is being held in 2 parts — first, started on 25 February and will end on 6 March, the second is from 8 to 17 March. It offers three challenges for the participants to choose from — they can complete either 100 km, 50 km or 25 km in 10 days.
This year's first walkathon #WalkForHer, is a tribute to all women who not only have to fight gender inequality at every stage of their lives but also had a particularly tough 2020 in terms of unemployment, increased incidents of domestic violence, and disrupted education. For Oxfam India, a non-profit organization working to support child education, empowering women and advocating against inequality, the Trailwalker Challenge has been one of the unique ways to involve people in important conversations as well as fund-raising.