ABOUT 1,000 people from various backgrounds took part in the “Walk for Values” event to raise awareness of bullying and violence.
Held in conjunction with the Ipoh Car Free Day, its theme “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully to Mankind, Animal and Nature” was to increase awareness and curb unhealthy habits, especially among children and youths.
Throughout the walk, children aged seven to 17 also showed keen interest in doing their bit as a “Buddy”.
They walked with placards displaying various messages according to the theme, with some even dressed up in creative costumes made from recycled materials.
The event, organised by the Sathya Sai International Organisation of the Malaysia Perak Chapter, was launched and flagged-off by state Education, Environment, Green Technology and Information Committee chairman Dr Abdul Aziz Bari.
Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and Ipoh Datuk Bandar Datuk Ahmad Suaidi Abdul Rahim surprised the crowd by making an appearance to show their support for the cause.
The 4km walk was also joined by 130 students from SMK Tarcisian Convent, SMK Sungai Pari, SMK Buntong, SMK Raja Perempuan and Cosmopoint College.
Organising chairman A. Ajit said the walk was initiated in 2009 and had various themes, including caring for the environment, education, community care and empowerment.
“This is the second time the walk was held in Perak, with the first being in 2017, following the death of student T. Nhaveen because of unwarranted torture and bullying by his peers.
“Nhaveen’s death triggered public outcry and we wanted to do something for people like him and many more who have been victims of bullying, ” he said.
“It is important for society to intervene and fight against such uncivilised acts.”
Apart from the walk, there was also a flash mob, giant float displaying the five essential human values of love, truth, peace, non-violence and righteousness and a special youth performance in conjunction with National Day.
A booth was also set up to get pledges from participants to be a “Buddy”.