Annual walkathon supports The Nature Conservancy

Taking steps to build a greener future

Photo by Shawn Nowlin
Sushilaben Patel (left) and Geetaben Patel (right) lead the way as participants walk throughout Downtown Salem.

When Corey Sellers drove down West Chestnut Street on Saturday, June 2, he noticed a group of people gathered in a parking lot adjacent to the Salem CVS. When he stepped out of his car to see what was going on, he realized they were participating in the Second Annual Bochasanwasi Akshar Purushottam Sanstha (BAPS) Charities Walkathon.

Event organizers told him that, “BAPS Charities has been engaging in a wide array of charitable activities and projects for over ten years in the United States while also supporting charitable projects around the world.”

Sellers could not participate because of a prior engagement but said that he would follow up to learn more about the organization.

Last year, 60 people participated in the Salem Walkathon. Approximately 80 individuals participated this year.

“BAPS Charities harnesses the efforts and collective spirit of volunteers around the world to serve individuals, families and communities in five key areas: Community Empowerment, Educational Services, Environmental Protection & Preservation, Health & Wellness and Humanitarian Relief,” volunteer Amit Patel said. “Taken together, these initiatives empower individuals to volunteer their time and resources to create a better community, nation and world.”

Over a 90-minute period, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., area residents walked two-miles throughout Downtown Salem to “help inspire global harmony with nature,” according to Darshan Patel.

“This year, BAPS Charities will support The Nature Conservancy’s efforts to plant and restore over 1.6 million acres of land by planting one billion trees by 2025 through their Plant a Billion Trees initiative,” Darshan, a team member with the BAPS Organization, said.

Over 23,000 walkers in 70 cities across America participated in the June 2 Walkathon. For more information, visit

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