BAPS Charities hosted its first Walkathon in South Africa on Sunday, 14 September 2014, in Lenasia – south of Johannesburg. The event marked the first walkathon to be held outside the UK and the USA. Diabetes South Africa was chosen as the beneficiary for the inaugural walkathon due to the high prevalence of diabetes amongst the population. The organisation focuses on raising awareness and educating the public on the causes and risks of diabetes as well as prevention methods. President of Diabetes South Africa, Mr. Ranga Kuni, was the honorary guest and received a donation of R25 000 (USD 2230) from BAPS Charities to help further their mission in South Africa. Mr. Kuni spoke about the challenges and obstacles that his organisation face in educating the public around the dangers of diabetes. Being a diabetic himself, Mr. Kuni mentioned that 1 in 5 South Africans run the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes during the course of their lives.
A total of 380 enthusiastic walkers participated in the 5km walk through the main streets of Lenasia. Young and old, people came together to walk for fun and for a purpose. Representatives from the City of Johannesburg Health Department also participated in the walk, thereafter providing pressure, glucose and prostrate screening services to those present. Each walker was given a certificate of completion as a memento for their participation in the walk. Mr. Kuni, and the representatives from the City of Johannesburg, expressed their appreciation to BAPS Charities for hosting the event and thanked everyone who walked, and those who helped raise funds, for this cause.