Annual Route 55 walk to be flagged off on Dec 24
Kolkata: The annual event Route 55 will be flagged off from in front of Metro Cinema Hall in Esplanade on December 24 and end at the gate of Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur.
The event -a 10 km walk, is a fundraising initiative to improve healthcare access for the needy. It is organised by the broader community of IIEST (Formerly BESU/BE College) Alumni and Sramajibi Hospital, Belur.
The run is an open donation-based event, which occurs in remembrance of the bus route 55, a key transport meridian for those traveling between Howrah and Kolkata, the twin cities in Bengal.
The idea was first conceived by a few IIEST alumni in 2013 and is now in its 5th year. Route 55 has a dual objective of motivating folks to live well and achieve personal fitness goals; and pursue a social outreach programme that benefits a pre-selected non-partisan welfare organisation. A team of individuals that includes engineers, information technology professionals, architects, management professionals and many more from across the world organise it. All participants donate around Rs 3,500 directly to Sramajibi.
"I always admired and remained actively involved in social services during my own student days. It is a great feeling to see my students from around the world coming together to do their bit for the community service since the past 4 years," said Ajay Kumar Ray, Director, IIEST.
On the fifth anniversary of Route 55, the organisers have come up with a new way to thank the people who serve on this route. For the first time, Sramajibi Hospital is opening the door of opportunity for the drivers and conductors of all route 55 buses to get a health card for discounted access at the hospital. The initiative is open for corporate sponsorship.
"Belur Sramajibi Hospital is always in service for all irrespective of their socio-economic status. Route 55 has made the way a lot smoother to provide the poverty-stricken affordable care," said Fanigopal Bhattacharya, President and one of the founders of the hospital.