17th annual Gandhi Day Walkathon back in Morgantown

Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 3:42 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - The legacy of one of history’s most influential icons is getting set to be celebrated in Morgantown this weekend.

The 17th annual Gandhi Day Walkathon is set to take place at the Hindu Religious and Cultural Center in Morgantown.

The event serves as a way the organization pays homage to the sprit of Gandhi, and how he lived a non-violent/peaceful life.

Aside from the movements he inspired, Gandhi’s legacy has been captivated in today’s culture with October 2nd being the International Day of Non-Violence, a day that unintentionally started with a walk.

Jagannathan is a humanitarian volunteer at the HRCC, and he understands the importance of this weekends event.

“A symbolic representation of what Gandhi did. He did what is called a “salt walk.” It was a way of non-violently protesting against the British forcing us to buy salt from England. It’s like almost like the Boston Tea Party. Gandhi organized a 240 mile walk to the shores of the Arabian sea so that he can basically galvanize opposition to the British empire.”

Although the walk won’t be 240 miles, the intent of walking for a cause will still be represented.

Even though the cause isn’t to galvanize opposition, it is bring about unity for a great cause.

“So every year, we try to focus our efforts on a local charity, and we have pretty much raised funds for almost all the charities in or around Morgantown. This year, we are doing it to support Rosenbaum House.”

Even though fundraising is a part of the events, it’s not the only reason.

Creating a sense of unity through the Hindu culture ensures that not only is the community learning something new, but so are the leaders of tomorrow.

Shweta Nimbarte is a Coordinator for the Balavihar program at Temple, and she understands the importance of the event when it comes to it’s impact on the youth.

“As a community, we believe in giving, and that’s the qualities we are trying to instill in them by getting them involved in these events. Like the youth group, they try and sell tickets. They go out and reach their neighbors and community to go and promote our event, which makes them and gives them a chance to go out and comfortably talk about what our community has to offer. So, they are pretty much the star of the show. They have practiced and prepared a lot, and they’re going to put on a nice fashion show, which will show some of the famous personalities from India. They are also going to perform songs, and we are looking forward to a great show.”

When there’s good entertainment, great food can’t be too far behind.

Neera Bhatia is another volunteer at Temple, and she’s excited to experience the different variety of foods that the country of India has to offer.

“We’ll have a lot of different foods from India, different areas like North India and South India. Actually, we have food from where the Prime Minister Modi is born and brought up in. And our local vendor likes restaurants out here, they’re providing food for us. We have a restaurant from Pittsburgh that’s providing us food, and then on top of it all, of our volunteers are going to do their culinary skills and bring foods from different areas of India.”

All of the festivities start Saturday at 3 p.m. at the HRCC in Morgantown.