New Delhi: Oxfam India’s 2020 virtual Trailwalker challenge concluded on a triumphant note on 29 November. Two editions spread across five months saw participation from first time enthusiasts to seasoned marathoners, lone runners to corporate teams, from all corners of the world — the fundraiser attracted almost 5,000 people who supported Oxfam India’s initiative to help pandemic-hit migrant workers. This year’s theme of the Oxfam Trailwalker was ‘Walk in solidarity’ and the focus was on ending economic discrimination of vulnerable and marginalised citizens, especially the migrant labourers who went through enormous hardships and tragedy during and after the lockdown. This fundraiser gave thousands an opportunity to help them and also raise money for Oxfam India’s ongoing COVID-19 relief work, and their #RightsOverProfits campaign that is demanding that the government regulate private healthcare to make it affordable and accessible to all.
The total amount raised by the walkathon was over Rs 50,00,000.
Three Trailwalkers also achieved seemingly impossible feats in the process. Pankaj Maste from Mumbai completed over 100 km in just one day while Anupama Singha Roy from Bengaluru and Sanjiv Sharma from New Delhi completed 50 km in one day as well!
Team participation from corporates like Salesforce, Accenture, Wells Fargo, Thomson Reuters and Schlumberger gave a big boost to the fundraising efforts. Thanks to such support in the past few months, Oxfam India has managed to reach out to underserved citizens in 16 states, provided one month’s dry ration to 387,495 people, distributed 60,080 ready-to-eat meal packets, distributed 57,424 safety kits and transferred Rs 264.45 lakh to 5289 households. Critical information about the pandemic has reached over 5 million people and 6,626 PPE Kits have been provided to front-line workers and hospitals.
Amitabh Behar, Chief Executive Officer of Oxfam India says, “We have tried with action and intent to reach out to the most vulnerable sections not just with tangible gestures but with information that can save lives. None of this however would have been possible without the support of the thousands who backed our fundraising efforts wholeheartedly and made it possible for us to help so many people.”
This massive effort was a virtual version of Oxfam India’s annual mega walkathon recognised world-wide as the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge. This year, because of the pandemic, participants had to take part “virtually” and complete the challenge in and around around their homes, with social distancing norms in place. The concept of the virtual Trailwalker made it very easy and simple for anyone around the globe to participate by just signing up on the Oxfam India website and choosing to cover 50kms or 100kms within 10 days.