The first edition of the Oxfam Virtual Trailwalker Challenge for 2022 imbibes the spirit of the National Girl Child. The theme of the challenge is #WalkInMyShoes. It will not just get participants closer to their fitness goals but also support Oxfam India's work towards gender and economic equality.
The National Girl Child Day is celebrated on January 24 every year to spread public awareness about the challenges that girls face in Indian society. The pandemic has further perpetuated existing inequalities and complicated already askew gender equations. Marginalised communities especially women and girls have been disproportionately impacted by the fallout of COVID-19 and have suffered an increase in domestic responsibilities, stress, and even violence.
"During the pandemic, women and girls who were already socially and economically disadvantaged were further debilitated. Reports in the last two years have shown a steep increase in domestic violence, disruption in education, loss of jobs, child early and forced marriage, cyber violence, and trafficking of women and girls. Oxfam India has been working all through the pandemic to repair some of these fault lines via education and livelihood missions and the annual Virtual Trailwalker Challenge has proved to be invaluable in mobilising resources and support for women and girls,â€ť said Amitabh Behar, CEO of Oxfam India.
Oxfam Virtual Trailwalker Challenge has two slots to choose from - 18 to 27 February or 4 to 13 March 2022. Participants can choose to walk 100 KM, 50 KM or 25 KM over a span of 10 days. The virtual challenge makes it easy for participants to walk anywhere, anytime, and on any surface (trail, road, treadmill, backyard, balcony). Each step taken by participants in solidarity will help end gender discrimination and the joining contribution of Rs 1000 will be invested in the upliftment of women through various gender and livelihood projects of Oxfam India.
In 2021 alone, over 3600 inspired walkers virtually walked in solidarity with the communities bearing the worst brunt of the pandemic and helped Oxfam India in its efforts to strengthen the public healthcare system. Oxfam Indiaâ€™s Mission Sanjeevani project helped 150 hospitals, 172 PHCs, and 166 CHCs with essential lifesaving medical and diagnostic equipment.
Oxfam India also reached out to over 55000 ASHA (Accredited Social Health Activist) workersâ€”the backbone of the public healthcare systemâ€” in 10 states with training and safety kits. Their aim is to reach 60,000 ASHA workers. Through the livelihood programs, in the last few years itself, Oxfam India has supported and trained 3000 women farmers in Lakhimpur Kheriâ€™s Mitali block in UP with climate-resilient agriculture practices.
Registrations for the walkathon have started. More information can be found here.