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The joy of walking
Walking for a cause is the latest and one of the well liked methods of promoting a social cause. Several walkathons are organised every year to promote a cause, create awareness and raise funds where people participate to bring social change.
 THERE ARE few catchlines of advertisements as interesting as the new Idea mobile advertisement campaign, “Walk while you talk, Talk while you walk.” Though it intends to sell Idea connections, it brings to the forefront a very important message, “walk to stay healthy.”
In this era of the vehicles, people seem to be forgetting the joys and benefits of walking. A girl openly states that she hates walking and prefers to drive even when she has to go just a few blocks away from her home. Another acquaintance wonders how I can push her son’s stroller everyday up to his playschool which is at a distance of three fourths of a kilometre from our home.
I am in awe of people for whom walking is a choice. Such people prefer to walk rather than using any kind of vehicle. Our very own, ‘Mahatma Gandhi’ enjoyed walking and often walked great distances everyday. Such people seem to be so full of life, exuberating positive energy all around them. They look so fit and so healthy.
There are people who walk for religious reasons, like my father who walks from Alandi (in Pune) to Pandharpur, a distance of 350 kms over a span of two weeks every year. Similarly, people walk several kilometres to Tirupati, Vaishnodevi, Shirdi and many other religious places. For them walking is a spiritual experience and claim that, “you walk once and you will want to go walking every year.”
Visit any garden or park early morning or evening and walking enthusiasts can be spotted all around, treading along the paved path. Some (usually middle aged and elderly) take up walking for health reasons. Walking is considered the best exercise for diabetic and heart patients. Then there are pregnant women building dreams of motherhood during their daily walks and women who come to shed off their excess weight post delivery.  
Young ladies walk to maintain their figure and young men for their physique. Children walk / run for the mere joy of walking / running. One can find people from all different age groups, sex, class and caste in the garden, taking their daily walking dose, making it one place where everyone has the same goal – “walking”.
Walking in gardens generally goes beyond ‘just walking’. Gardens make the best grounds for budding friendships, love or even business relationships. Friendships have a therapeutic effect on the walkers as they meet people with whom they can share a joke, laugh and even share their stress giving problems. Seeing love blooming among the young walkers is such a pleasant site and watching a young boy woo a young girl during her walks is sure to bring many a smiles.
‘Walking for a cause’ is the latest and one of the well liked methods of promoting a social cause. Several walkathons are organised every year to promote a cause, create awareness and raise funds. Countless people participate in such walkathons with the intention of helping and volunteering, making ‘walking’ a very noble and effective method of bringing in social change.
Walking is not only beneficial to an individual but is good for the community too. If everyone used their two legs as the mode of transport, we would not only save on fuel, but there would be less pollution, less global warming and less illness, making the world a better place to live in.
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