Amar Gandhi Foundation (AGF) arranging a virtual walkathon around the world on World Kidney Day
Amar Gandhi Foundation
An 84-year-old kidney donor who overcame Covid-19, a 70-year-old lady who donated one kidney to her son are among a gregarious mix of kidney patients, donors and others participating in a virtual walkathon around World Kidney Day. While World Kidney Day falls on March 11, the walkathon organised by Amar Gandhi Foundation is taking place in a virtual manner keeping in mind the Covid restrictions.
Every year, World Kidney Day has a theme and this year it is Living Well with Kidney Disease. Chronic kidney disease or CKD is one of the common health issues, with around 195 million women affected by it across the world. CKD can lead to kidney failure and death. In India, 17.2 percent people from urban areas suffer from kidney disease.
In 2019, the Amar Gandhi Foundation (AGF) started by Nephrologists of national acclaim – Dr Bhupendra Gandhi and Mrs Shaila Gandhi conducted an event - Ek Chammach Kam Walkathon from NCPA to Churchgate. This was organized on March 10, 2019 to commemorate World Kidney Day which was observed on March 14 that year. Eminent santoor player Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma had inaugurated the walk.
The 2020 walkathon was not possible due to severe covid restrictions. But this time keeping in mind the trend, a virtual walkathon has been organised and many people are participating including kidney donors Mori Lalwani (84) and Vinaya Halady (72).
Lalwani who donated one of his kidneys to his wife Padma seven years ago has been living it up and urged everyone to participate in the walkathon as he himself is walking now despite having been discharged recently after being tested positive for Covid 19.
“I walked for an hour and was very fit. So when my wife had a polycystic kidney disease and had to be removed, I decided to donate one of my kidneys at the age of 77. Some doctors were not sure. But Dr Bhupendra Gandhi did the transplant. I am still fit and walk 10,000 steps a day” says Lalwani
Vinaya Halady who donated one of her kidneys to her son Samiir two years ago at the age of 70 is also taking part in the virtual walkathon.
“I have always been walking from the beginning. But since my diabetes was borderline I walked for more than an hour daily so it could be under control. I still walk for an hour now. My walking and being fit enabled my son get a kidney and saved his life, “says Vinaya Halady
Her son too is walking. Samiir was on dialysis for 17 years before he got the transplant and he has also been living it up with kidney disease.
“I have been doing sudarshan kriya and other forms of yoga apart from my walks after my transplant. I had been an avid hiker for years even with my dialysis for 17 years, and I want to make sure that what my mother did for me and gave me a second life is not wasted,” says 46 -year-old Samiir.
Amar Gandhi Foundation has been in the forefront of creating awareness about Kidney Disease and its prevention. Their flagship projects are Ek Chammach Kam, Know Your Numbers, Be a Real Hero.
Ek Chammach Kam advocates cutting down on Salt, Sugar and Oil by 30% in our food to stay in better health and prevent any kind of Non-Communicable Disease (kidney disease is one of them).
Know Your Numbers encourages everyone to keep checking their vital parameters like Blood pressure, Sugar and BMI and take immediate treatment to prevent any kind of illness to progress further.
Be a Real Hero Communicates that Pledging your organs is a trait of a Real Hero and it helps save so many lives in the process.
To add to this, it is very important to have an active lifestyle vis-a-vis a sedentary lifestyle. The Walkathon forms part of this part of living well.
The walkathon is open for global participation till 11th (World Kidney Day) and submissions will need to be made on or before the same date. While people without chronic diseases can walk 2, 5 or 7 kms, Kidney Heroes or heroes suffering with other diseases can walk for 15 mins or more. Such participants can share a screenshot of their walk time from a tracking app or a screenshot of the timer and upload on the Amar Gandhi Foundation website.
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