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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

Trekking loaded with information and kids, too!

A group of trekking enthusiasts come together every year to impart knowledge about forts, restoration of heritage structures and adventure trekking to kids.

pune Updated: Apr 08, 2018 16:44 IST
Anjali Shetty
Anjali Shetty
Hindustan Times, Pune
Children learn many things from how to tie knots of ropes to how to pack first-aid kit.
Children learn many things from how to tie knots of ropes to how to pack first-aid kit.(HT Photo)

Six years ago, Onkar Oak, an advocate by profession and an adventurist by passion decided to bring together all like-minded adventurists together. It all started with a blogging platform where they would share their trek adventures.

“Back in 2013, WhatsApp groups or any social media groups weren’t big. We would use blogs as a mode of reaching out to like-minded people. This particular portal connected me to several fellow trekkers and we got along well. So, with an aim to get to know each other better we announced a trek to Madhe Ghat in 2013. We were around 13 people for the first meet.”

In the second year, they named this activity Sahya Melawa and have been regularly organises treks once a year. I n the second year they visited Shirpunje Bhairavgad, Kaladgad, the third was at Choulher, Pimpla in winter, fourth was Patta and now the fifth will be on Ghangad Tailbaila on April 7.

Onkar adds, “This is not something where we just meet and climb forts. Each member picks topics of his expertise and elaborates on the same. For example, my forte lies in the history of forts etc, so I discuss the same at length.”

The interesting part of this group is that they take their kids along too. “Most of the members are married and we thought it would be nice to include them at this growing stage. They are at an age where it is easy to explain things to them and it is easier for them to grasp.”

A 10-year-old Darshan Phadnis, who was part of the previous trek and is preparing for the next says, “We learnt the techniques of climbing and most importantly the safety measures. Also, the fact that one has to do everything on his/her own is quite a learning experience. We saw how a bonfire is made, how meals are cooked, how rural kids in surrounding villages live with minimum supplies. It was an eye-opener.”

He says that the members learn many things from how to tie knots of ropes to how to pack first-aid kit. Onkar adds, “We are proud about the way we trek and we want to show it to the kids.We never litter, never spoil natural resources, never take unnecessary risks and we never violate the rules. We respect historical monuments, respect nature.

“In fact, we can proudly say that we are responsible trekkers and we want our kids to follow our guidelines. We never force them to do or act so, but we let them observe how treks are done. You can enjoy the treks, nature better, if you respect them. We try to inculcate the idea to our young ones and we are sure when they will start organising treks on their own, they will be the next batch of responsible trekkers like us.”

First Published: Apr 08, 2018 16:38 IST

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