Social Cause Trek/5 - Kids Trek/2 - August 29, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009
...with the 8th to 10th class students of HOPE foundation school, Thoraipakkam, Chennai.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s famous quip on hope - “If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” perfectly sums up the children’s trek on Saturday.
By helping the kids who cannot afford and those who do not yet understand the raw beauty of what Mother Nature holds for them; by simply hiking them into the wild woods of Nagalapuram and helping them breathe & experience nothing but pure, sun kissed - heavenly landscapes & fun unlimited in the first water pool; CTC has given the kids a new leash of fun and friendship to cherish for their life time.
What more can you ask for as a first timer!!! 10 – 12 year olds allowed to run in the wild with gay abandon in the pristine forests of Nagala and returning home with their hearts filled with pure bliss n joy
Social Treks unlike the regular treks require equally meticulous “if not more” detailed plans as we deal with kids and those who do not have prior experiences in the wild. Safety alongside fun remains utmost priority. And deservedly so – the organizers of the trek deserve an extra pat on their backs for making this trek work perfectly well within the limits of the group;
My plans to travel to the Bannerghatta reserve during the same weekend fell short and thankfully – Nisha & Angel were kind enough to accommodate us as wanna-be photographers for the trek. The usual pomp & fan-fair admittedly was a little low profile as the first timers took time to ease out and gratefully though, our first ice breaker point began with a good breakfast at periyapalayam and uthukottai respectively.
Moments later, we had reached the base camp, food was distributed amongst the CTC members in a jiffy and we were off in a flash to the first pool. Free Flowing Energy boosters are a given to any kid and what more can we say when it comes to having fun out in the wild. The kids were only too eager to jump into the fray and they did with such ease and panache; some of us CTC members were left to dry out in the wild and trot back behind the kids as they were running a marathon of sorts alongside Peter and the rest of the team.
We had bought Glucon D and Electral anticipating tired little ones during our modest hike to the first water pool and shamelessly though – It was us CTCians who drank all the energy drink instead. No heat and an ever increasing hot burner in the Sun could stop the kids from reaching the first pool. With the ice breaker and a little introduction to most of the group complete, the chanter banter was nonstop all the way to the water point.
What good is a water pool without fun and so it came to be – Entertainment to the max with volleyballs, lorry tubes to ferry kids to the little water fall and back in the safe zone – the banter echoed across the valley for a good hour n more. The camera crazy ones like us would never wanna miss an opportunity like this. Our pics are ample examples of what it was like during the whole day mate and if we have missed a good shot or two – well... Blame it on making a choice ey … we were indeed spoilt for a good too many…
As the day wore on, and the tireless ones continued their tryst with water – the organizers called time out and a phenomenal lunch was served to fill ourselves for further games in the water. Whilst some of us dozed off for a small measure – the kids continued their onslaught. Come 3:30, with accounts settled by Nisha, It was time to say goodbye to Nagala.
Back in the safe confines of civilization, I can’t help but think of this simple act that could probably create a lifetime of impact on some of the kids.
The Hope foundation in its own little way probably has lit up many a life by creating opportunities for learning & growth amongst the needy and the poor. CTC in its own inimitable style could not have had a better platform to build on – Hope – and by showing the kids, the true essence of what the wild means to all of us – we have hopefully created a young lot of explorers who would probably step into our shoes when the time calls for it …
Until then As Andy Dufresne says – Let us Hope – that Hope is a good thing, Perhaps the best of things – And no Good thing ever dies!!!
Written by: Hari
Manjula Saraf
Program Coordinator
HOPE Foundation Nursery and Primary School

Thanks a million for organising the trek.Both the students and the teachers enjoyed a lot. It is very nice of you and your entire team to have thought of making the day, so special for these kids. I also wish to appreciate the efforts made to organise the event so meticulously.
Thanks once again.Best wishes to you and your team.
Report of Nature trek undertaken by Hope foundation Nursery & Primary school as sponsored by Chennai Trekker’s club.
Chennai Trekker’s club arranged a trekking trip to the students of Hope foundation on 29th of August 2009.The location was near Tamil Nadu – Andhra bo0rder, close to Nagalappuram Village.
A told 23children and 7 teachers participated in the trek and were escorted by 18 members of the Chennai Trekker’s club. The club arranged the transport and food.
The team left the school area at 5.30 hrs on 29th August 2009.
From this moment the trekking started. We all covered a distance of 3 Km of hard terrain vegetation, small hillocks and river bunds to reach a report of beauty. It was a large pond where water flowing out of a national spring was enjoyed by all the children.
The (children) students swam around in the pond with the help of the volunteers some students and teachers learnt swimming from the volunteers. The pond was full of fish and students loved the natural surroundings. 
Later we had out lunch around 13.30hrs. At 15.00hrs we had a gathering of all participants Mrs.Gruhalakshmi proposed a vote of thanks by profusely thanking the organizers whole heartedly, not only for organizing the trip but also helping elderly members of the team to climb rocks and small hillocks. They took special care for certain student member who felt sick by providing glucose and nutrient salt to revitalize their energy. Both the parties took photographs.
We started on trek back to our Conveyances at 15.30hrs and reached the school around 21.00hrs. All the students were taken to their home and delivered at their doorsteps by the volunteers and teachers in the vehicles. Family the report of safe return was informed to the Head mistress Mrs.Manjula Saraf at 23.00hrs.

Organized by: Angel, Karthick, Nisha
Image Galleries:
Karthick Ramalingam
Posted by: Karthick Sundararajan



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