No holding them back

- April 3, 2024
| By : Idrees Bukhtiyar |

A club called ‘City Girls Who Walk Delhi’ helps women to unwind and overcome stress by combining fitness, exploration, and networking through walks and activities

FOR THE ALBUM: As many as 90-100 girls join for the walk every time

‘City Girls Who Walk Delhi’, a first-of-its-kind women’s club based in the national capital, has taken the initiative of helping women find relief from their busy and stressful schedules through the medium of walk. 

The club aims to connect women and help them bond and network. It combines fitness, exploration, and networking, offering a platform to women to come together, engage in meaningful conversations and forge connections while exploring different sights of Delhi.

Manisha Kalra, founder of ‘City Girls Who Walk Delhi’ club, told Patriot that she started the club to socialise with new women friends. 

“We usually go out with our friends for coffee, which has become a sort of a routine. But I decided to do something different which could be healthier also. So, I thought of socialising with new friends and at new locations,” she says. 

The idea of starting this club cropped up in her mind when she found the city lacking one. 

“Last year when I was working for a company, we were asked to collaborate with a girls’ club conducting city walks, and I came across one in New York. I was looking for a similar one to join but couldn’t find it in Delhi. So, I decided to start my own,” she says. 

Manisha started this club last year in March. 

“The first walk was held on March 25 and was joined by seven people. However, the number has now gone up to 100,” she says. 

UNWINDING: Women have fun following the walk

She adds that the number goes up in winter while in summer, it goes a bit down due to the hot weather. Manisha and her team use social media to attract people, putting out posts about the planned walk on the club’s social media handle. 

“We announce our next work through social media and then we ask people to register. Earlier, there used to be no registration system but seeing a good response and huge rush at parks, we have taken this decision,” she says. 

“Those who register, get a confirmation link on their emails and they join our WhatsApp group where we keep updating our work,” she says before adding, “Those who reach the location late, we send them live location details to join us.”

Manisha is currently hosting the walk twice a month, either on Saturday or Sunday. Besides walking, she has also slotted fun activities so that the participants don’t feel bored. 

“We had a dance workshop in January, and later in February, there was a workout party. The idea is to bring together different experiences that involve moments focussing on complete wellness,” she says. 

“We have had a yoga session in the past and are planning to conduct one more soon. We will also plan indoor events in summers including Zumba,” she adds. 

CANDID: Discussion and talks on various topics are encouraged among the members

“In the beginning, we start with introducing the women, their professions, which helps us to keep them with the right companions or group. That sets the tone of the walk,” she added. 

About the timings, she says, “In winters, we keep it at 11 am or 12 pm while in summers the participants have to reach the venue at 8 am or 9 am.” 

The 28-year-old says that women between the age of 18-60 join them for the walk.

“The majority of women are between 18 and 35 years. They are regular and visit us frequently. They are either studying in colleges or are working professionals,” she says. 

She adds that the club is a safe space for women who can share their thoughts, and feelings and stay physically fit. 

“They are not judged here. Those who are visiting have started trusting us more. Some time back, two sisters, one who lives in London and another in Canada told their mother to join our group to keep herself healthy and she is feeling amazing,” she says. 

Adding more to it, she says, “A 24-year-old girl who comes for a walk feels that she has been healed in some way. We are just bringing women together. She says that this togetherness has helped. Also, two girls connected through the Bumble app and wanted to meet in person. They then decided to meet up in our walk, finding it a safe space.” 

Manisha says that they don’t choose commercialised parks for the walk. 

“We choose parks that have a peaceful ambience and not too many gatherings, like Lodhi Gardens, Deer Park, Shanti Van, Purana Qila, Amrit Udyan and Sunder Nursery where we find peace,” she says before adding that walking in a group gives one relief. 

HEALTH A PRIORITY: The Participants are encouraged to walk keeping in mind the health benefits the activity brings

“It is good to see women coming out of their comfort zones and walking. Those who come, say they have developed the habit of walking and in fact, my friends too love walking now,” she says. 

“I hope our walk will promote green environment in Delhi, which faces a lot of pollution otherwise,” she concludes.