Oxfam Trailwalker: The first Oxfam India Trailwalker was held in Bengaluru in February 2012. It has been followed by four more additions with an increase in participants every year. This year on Jan 20th till 22nd, 259 teams supported by many MNCs as well as individually joined the Oxfam Trailwalker – Bengaluru. Each team with 4 participants walked the 100 km or 50 km trail around Nandi Hills Area in 48 hours. Oxfam India works in partnership with over 60 grassroots NGOs to address root causes of poverty and injustice.
Road Thrill @ Oxfam Trailwalker: A couple of days before the event I get a call from Arun Hilson, who is coordinating the activities around Check Point 8 as well as walking the 100 km trail to see if any of us from our Biking Group can volunteer for the event. The trail passes through narrow lines, fields, woods and muddy roads in which no cars can maneuver. The only concern on my mind was that the support required starts on Friday Night, a working day to all our members. We need to stretch the entire night till the morning maintaining the physical energy levels something which not everyone might be able to do even its of interest. Not taking much chances I myself jumped in to volunteer with an other dear friend Solomon’ who can even ride 910 km after office hours 🙂
State Street Check Point 8: We were greeted by Mr. Satya who is the Check Point In charge to brief us on the trail and responsibilities. It was 12:30 AM by then and we hear a huge noise, music and whats happening? One team of 4 from State Street just enters check point, who started walking at 6 AM in the morning and reach Check Point 8 (84 Km from the start point) by 1:00 AM. The dance, noise, music only was getting loader as walker report at Check Point 8 which has a medical point, some snacks, resting area, washrooms and everything needed to charge up the walkers till the next checkpoint.
Marshaling: By now the time is 2:00 AM and wasting no much time we ride into the trail carrying fruits, energy bars, water and some pain killer sprays. The narrow village lanes I don’t know how the walkers are managing, but it was not easy to be on the trail following the small signs, arrow marks, ribbons and reflective strips in the night.
Would like to write about one walker in particular here. We don’t know his name but I will call him the ‘Good walker in Red’. 4 Km into the trail and by now all our supplies are finished and left with 2 oranges and an apple. Still we continued further hoping even that would be helpful to anyone as if we go back it would take half an hour more to come again with supplies.
The ‘Good walker in Red’: We saw this single walker unlike other teams who is in his mid 30’s, could see the fatigue in him after walking 80 km. ‘You need some fruits, Orange’ asks Solomon. “Oh! Thank you.. I am fine, but I see a walker just behind. I think he is struggling, Can you please go to him”. ‘Sure, but we have no water with us’, “Ok, You can take mine and give it to him” says this walker who is equally exhausted. I tell you, one needs to be a real man who is walking the talk of ‘Walk for equality’ to even think of doing something like that.
Good Morning and Adieu: We continued the marshaling again in the morning till 10 AM and we head back with some great memories, learning and life lessons. Adding up some spice was Solomon Guitar Jam at the check point 8, watch the video here:
Thank You Oxfam For This wonderful event and Thank You State Street for involving Road Thrill Along!