India walkathon to raise funds for Chatsworth Hospice

Roger Chetty, Jugga Naidoo, Thilaga Pillay (Chatsworth Regional Hospice Association), Linga Naidoo, Bala Gangiah and Vickey Reddy. Picture: Yoshini Perumal

Roger Chetty, Jugga Naidoo, Thilaga Pillay (Chatsworth Regional Hospice Association), Linga Naidoo, Bala Gangiah and Vickey Reddy. Picture: Yoshini Perumal

Published Jan 21, 2024


Five Chatsworth men are gearing up for an arduous 300km walkathon through the streets of India to raise much-needed funds for the Chatsworth Regional Hospital Association.

The spirited team which comprise Bala Gangiah, Linga Naidoo, Jugga Naidoo, Vickey Reddy and Roger Chetty will embark on the ‘Walk of Life’, held in association with the Rotary Club of India and the Indian Cancer Society, on January 19.

The walkathon which also serves to create awareness of cancer and the need for palliative care globally, will culminate on January 28.

Since the initiative began in 2019, the Walk of Life has become an anticipated highlight in the event's calendar of the Chatsworth Hospice.

The annual fundraiser is the brainchild of cancer survivor and author, Bala Gangiah, who undertook the 574 km maiden walk in India in December 2019, along with well-known athlete, Jay Moodley, a former South African, now residing in India.

The event garnered support for the hospice and this year, the walk will be held in commemoration of the Chatsworth Regional Hospice's Association’s 33rd anniversary.

The walkers, four of whom are in their sixties, will complete 30km a day as they walk through the pristine West Coast of India from Kochi to Kanyakumari for 10 consecutive days.

Gangiah, who lost his left kidney to cancer in June 2018, said that he took a decision to not leave his problem solely in his doctors hands.

“Having taken responsibility for my situation, I left no stone unturned in doing everything possible in getting my health back. So much so that I reached the top of Kilimanjaro just six months after surgery,” he said.

His story from cancer to Kilimanjaro is documented in his book titled What's your Kilimanjaro?

Gangiah said he and his team also embarked on walks in Durban, on the Esplanade, and the phenomenal team became a well known sight as they walked their way into the hearts of supporters and well-wishers.

President of the Chatsworth Hospice, Thilaga Pillay, said: “This initiative articulately demonstrates the resilience, tenacity and generosity of this special group of individuals who fuel our passion as a hospice to serve those affected and afflicted by life limiting illnesses.

“Recently, the Umhlatuzana Yoga Studio in partnership with the Chatsworth Regional Hospice Association hosted a walk on the Durban Esplanade to bid farewell to the Walk of Life Team. We enjoyed a morning of camaraderie as we came together to wish Bala Gangiah and his team well on their trip to India.

“The phenomenal group of walkers truly espouse the spirit of selfless caring and spend many hours training before the planned Walk of Life initiatives, which is the ultimate test of endurance and perseverance. We are immensely grateful to Bala and his team for their unwavering support to the hospice, and we wish them a successful and enjoyable walk across the south of India as they represent the Chatsworth Hospice with pride,” Pillay said.

Members of the community are encouraged to support the initiative by donating 50 cents per kilometre walked by the team.

For more information on how you can donate, contact Pavi at 031 403 2273.


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