| Participants at the run and walk event on Sunday |
Jan. 6: This morning, Natwar Thakkar, a Gandhian, ran and walked with over 300 others in the city for a special cause — inviting youths to work for the downtrodden.
The event, Guwahati Run and Walk programme, was organised to celebrate the social work done by five NGOs, which are supported by the Assam Foundation in North America, an umbrella organisation of NRIs from Assam, living in the US.
The five NGOs are Centre for Rural Development, Snehalaya, Parijat Academy, Atma Nirbhar-Ek Challenge and Society for Health and Educational Development.
Thakkar flagged off the event at 10am from Latasil playground and covered a distance of about 4km, passing by the District Library-Reserve Bank of India-Cotton College hostel-Judges Field-Gauhati High Court before returning to Latasil playground.
Thakkar, who is popularising Gandhian philosophy in the Northeast, called people, particularly the youths, to come forward and work for the marginalised section of society.
“The voluntary work done by the NGOs has shown how a little help can bring smiles to others. We need more similar activities and our youths can take a lead and more should come forward to make a difference to those who need our help,” Thakkar said.
More than 300 members from the NGOs, schoolchildren and others took part in the march and all called for more voluntary work to help the poor and the disadvantaged sections of society.
“The purpose of organising the event was to salute those who are doing their bit for the poor, mentally or physically challenged and those in need of help. At the same time, we tried to make an appeal to others to come forward and help the disadvantaged sections of our society,” Sandip Gogoi, co-ordinator of the event, said.
The Foundation has been providing financial support to the five NGOs, which are working for the downtrodden here.
The Centre for Rural Development has provided hundreds of jobs through its Rickshaw Bank Project, under which specially-designed rickshaws are rented out to the poor and their ownership is transferred to the drivers after they have paid a daily rental of Rs 25 for 18 months.
Snehalaya is running homes for children in distress, Parijat Academy is a school for poor children at Pamohi on the outskirts of the city while Atma Nirbhar-Ek Challenge is working for the physically challenged.
After the march, a dhulia (drummer) group from Nalbari displayed its skills at the Latasil playground.
“This is an event to spread the message of hope, inspiration and faith. We hope the event will inspire others to come forward and work as volunteers for positive changes,” Gogoi said.