Mother’s Day Classic Walk 2018
The SSIO Ladies Program Coordinators formed a team of 170 members including women, children, young adults and men around Australia and joined the Mother’s Day Classic Walk on Sunday, 13 May 2018.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women; 50 women are newly diagnosed every day whilst around 150 men are diagnosed every year.
The Ladies coordinators initiated this service activity with the intention of supporting breast cancer research and to unite with the wider community.
It was good to see the windy, cold morning did not stop the enthusiasm of participants!
Below are regional reports and personal reflections covering the different regions involved in the walk.
Bright and early on the 13th of May, devotes eagerly gathered in South Brisbane in anticipation for the Mother’s Day Classic Walk to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research. The race was especially significant for devotees who have been personally affect by breast cancer. The support of the Sai family and wider community were humbling and for many, symbolic of their journey with breast cancer. United in a sea of pink with the local community, they crossed the finish line, standing proudly together and supporting a greater cause.
I was first made aware of the MDCW at the Office Bearers Retreat. Whilst I had never taken part in the walk before, it quickly struck me what an inspirational community event and great service this would be, one which would bring together communities all over Australia to support and remember those touched by breast cancer. It really touched my heart and I was determined to empower the ladies and encourage them to join the team. With Sathya Sai Baba’s blessing, this walk was made possible; we did it as an offering to Mother Easwaramma, and dedicated it to all the cancer sufferers.
Since our 4.5km walk was at 9.50am, we all met in front of the Eye of Brisbane in Southbank. It was so nice to see everyone’s beaming faces & beautiful smiles.There was so much team spirit and compassion amongst thousands of supporters. Music and motivational announcements could be heard loud and clear from the front stage – ‘You Are a Survivor and You Should Be Proud of Yourself’. We quickly took a few photos, said our prayers and walked towards the starting point. During the walk, we all were silently offering our prayers to everyone all around the world. We came to realise that this event was no fun run, but a powerful day for families and friends to support breast cancer survivors and those who have lost loved ones. In no time, we reached the end, and were given the MDC medal for our achievement. We felt great that we could do this to empathise with our loved ones. Afterwards, we all assembled together and said our final prayers to thank Sathya Sai for allowing us to be part of this great event.
We were so fortunate to walk with and support our own two cancer survivors. These ladies were very proud and thankful of the Sai Team’s support. Participating in the team was part of their healing process. Our two survivors, together with thousands of others know only too well that cancer does not discriminate and has no boundaries, striking people of all ages anywhere and anytime. We felt it our duty to promote awareness and help towards the research wherever we can.
– Nirmala Deo
The ACT Region commemorated Easwaramma Day in May 2018 be dedicating the MDC Walk to Sathya Sai’s mother, Easwaramma. Easwaramma was the direct inspiration for the mammoth social service projects which make the name Sathya Sai shine throughout the world. On several occasions Sathya Sai Baba has recalled this endearing facet of her life. Eawaramma’s universal affection was instrumental in evoking the goodness dormant in thousands of rural and urban women and children, and her compassion has lit up the lives of countless numbers. Approximately 15 members including children braved the very chilly morning at 9.40 am on 13 May 2018 to undertake the 5 km walk, which commenced at the Ronda Terrace and followed the footpath along the scenic Lake Burley Griffin. Some of the walkers have been touched by cancer in some form or another and this was an opportunity to pay tribute to their own journey and that of their loved ones. The SSIO ACT Region was awarded for the “Largest Community and Sporting Group Team” for this event. It was another fantastic piece of recognition in a very blessed fortnight for the Sathya Sai Organisation!
“There was awesome dedication and support from each other. It was terrible windy weather. I personally wasn’t 100% but managed to walk the full 5km. The amount of love was amazing. The participants were from various backgrounds, kids walking, strolling, tired but everyone had patience and ensured we cared for each other. The end was a feeling of satisfaction and ensured we all united”.
– A Sai member who suffered from cancer
“It was a fulfilling experience for me, especially identifying myself so closely with the cause. It convinced me of the proverb “Where there is a Will, there is a Way”. It was a true victory for me and I would like to ensure others that Life is beautiful – live every moment happily. Looking forward for the walk next year.”
– Kavitha Kugathas.
It was really a great opportunity for us to do this community service activity. We were a bit concerned initially, because it fell on Mother’s Day. Our compassion and the urge to help prompted us to make an effort to encourage all the ladies, and we left the rest to our Sai Mother. We were amazed by the enthusiasm, love and compassion shown by our members. This service activity is important because it is helping the mothers and daughters of our country. It is truly Love in action, a selfless service.Our experience on the day was a feeling of oneness, friendship and understanding.
The initial shock of a cancer diagnosis had a huge impact on my family as the feelings of depression, anxiety and fear set in. It is a long journey and you are worried and frustrated asking why it happens. Uniting here and walking together with our ladies gave me positive energy.
– Surij and Rohana
Our WA team started the walk with a prayer and finished the walk with the peace chant.
The memory of this activity will stay with us for a long time. Personally, I felt a strong sense of team spirit, camaraderie and a sense of purpose as to why this walk is needed.
Throughout the walk, my egotistical thoughts that I’m doing the walk for me were dissolved, and instead, a thought of appreciation of life and the need to lovingly serve others took its place. The team itself experienced a sense of union bringing us all closer together. A sense of appreciation of life has made us treasure life, the memories we made and the impact we can make to bring wellness to people all around us.
Life cannot be truly enjoyed if we can’t help and serve those that are suffering. This applies especially to serving people that are terminally ill due to cancer and people who are suffering emotionally from the effects of cancer on their loved ones. After talking to people who are affected by cancer, I am ever more determined to keep serving with love.
– Jasotha Sukumaralingam
When I heard of the Mother’s Day walk I strongly felt the event was for a fantastic cause and that it would be wonderful to involve our Sai ladies. I thought it would be a great opportunity to be outdoors and get active whilst making a contribution to society.
Before, during and after the walk, which took place in Parramatta Park, all the ladies showed great enthusiasm. After the event I received much positive feedback. The participants had fun and enjoyed meeting the other ladies from the region. They also felt that they had made a valuable contribution to a worthy cause.
A member of the team who suffered from cancer kindly shared that she felt very inspired by this event because it raises the awareness of breast cancer among women and allows for suffers and their family to speak about it in the open and acknowledge it.
– Vadana Sivabalan
When the Ladies Wing of SSIO of Australia & PNG decided to join the Mother’s Day Classic Walk, I felt inspired, energised and empowered with the thought that we are going to do something we have not done before. What better way to start a Mother’s Day than joining the community of mothers and their families on a fun, healthy and inspirational event that brings the community together?
With the support and guidance of our National Ladies Coordinator, I registered myself as the Team Leader for NSW and organised the Team. I was really thrilled with the thought of undertaking the classic walk of 4km on Mother’s Day with the local community.
It was exciting to see the increasing number of registrations under the team. About 65 people took part in NSW. The president of NSW Region East kindly arranged a special cap with the name of our organisation and a quote from Sathya Sai Baba.
On the day of Mother’s Classic Walk, in spite of the weather forecast, thousands of people turned up to the venue with their families. A good number of people under our team also turned up believing that Sai would help us with better weather, and there was indeed nice weather, with the rain holding off until after we completed our walk. The walk was so peaceful with a well-disciplined crowd walking at their own pace and happily chatting. At the end of the walk, we were received with cheering & refreshments. All were presented with a medallion to acknowledge their efforts. Filled with energy, we happily went with our family to enjoy the rest of Mother’s Day.
– Jeya Sriskanthan