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​In honour of the Mahatma, Lenasia’s annual walk for peace, health and unity will benefit a range of charities, while participants will also find food stalls, a kids’ zone and an afternoon concert.
JOBURGERS will soon take to the streets in Lenasia, south of the CBD, joining forces with Executive Mayor Parks Tau for the 27th annual Gandhi Walk for peace, health and unity.

The Gandhi Walk is all about having funThe Gandhi Walk is all about having funThe event is hosted each year in honour of the late peace activist, Mahatma Gandhi, who developed his philosophy of satyagraha during his years in South Africa, particularly in Johannesburg.

Following success in previous years, this year’s Gandhi Walk, which takes place on Sunday, 1 April, promises to be bigger and better.

Participants will have a choice of walking either 7km, starting at 8.15am, or 15km, which starts at 8:30am. Entries for the walk cost R20 for both distances.

The routes, which begin and conclude at the Gandhi Hall in Ext 5, will pass the Signet Terrace shopping centre, the suburb’s old age home, and the Virgin Active gym.

Each of the two distances will have a further five categories – a junior category for entrants 19 years and under; a senior category, 20-34 years for females and 20-39 years for males; a veteran category, 35-44 years for females and 40-49 years for males; a master category, 45-54 years for females and 50-59 years for males; and finally a grand master category for females 55 years and older and males 60 years and older.

Lenmed Clinic will be rendering free screening for blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol, according to Mahendra Modi, public relations officer and media liaison for the event.

“For the little ones a Kidz Zone will be set up with slides, castle jumping, face painting, and also a free Mr.Pritt show for the kids to enjoy with free hampers and gifts,” he says.

Vegetarian food will also be on offer at the hall. After lunch a free “Fusion Mela show” will feature singers Bushan Das, Ridwaan , Vandana Naran and others as well as dancers from various groups.

Walking for charity
Over the years some 35 organisations have benefitted from funds raised through the walk. The Amrit Bhowan Scholarship Fund; Ananda Marga Mission; Aryan Benevolent Home; Hare Krishna Food for Life; the Ikageng Old Age Relief Centre; Jayant Ooka Quadruplets Fund; the Johannesburg Council for the Disabled; Jiswa School for Mentally Handicapped Children; the Lenasia Intercultural Organisation; and the Lenasia School of Music are just a few of the beneficiaries.

Food stalls will be available to fill empty stomachsFood stalls will be available to fill empty stomachsThe walk came about when the construction of a community hall in the area had to be halted when the money ran out.

During the 1980s, the Transvaal Hindu Seva Samaj began construction on a community hall, called the Mahatma Gandhi Hall, for the needs of the area’s Indian community. It catered for weddings, religious gatherings, meetings and functions for all residents. The hall also accommodated a vernacular school and a temple, according to the Gandhi Walk website.

Lack of funds hindered the realisation of these objectives and a loan was the only solution. Community stalwarts Chagan Chiba and Mahon Hira came up with the idea of a walk to raise funds for the loan’s repayment – they are now the event’s regular organisers.

The initial walk took place in 1986. Following the success of the first few walks, a group called The Gandhi Walk Committee gave the event its official name – the Gandhi Walk.

Gandhi Hall
Although the debt has since been settled, the committee continues to hold the walk to maintain the hall, which provides indoor and outdoor facilities and also a youth wing for safe and supervised recreational and training opportunities.

The annual walk forms part of the community’s schedule of functions and events.

Secure parking will be available at the Impala Crescent Primary School grounds, which are adjacent to Gandhi Hall.

Entry tickets are available at all Computicket outlets including those at Checkers, Shoprite and Checkers Hyper stores. Those wanting to participate can also get tickets online at the Gandhi Walk website or at the Lenasia VW.

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