...with the children from Nalandaway foundation, Chennai.
I accepted the moment I received a mail from Peter inviting me to organize a one day trek with kids of NalandaWay on 30 Aug 09 to Nagalapuram. I spent the whole of the week planning the trek and the details despite the fact that I had never been to Nagala earlier. I was depending on one of the fellow volunteers to guide the party [We had six volunteers for the trek ]. CTC had joined hands with NalandaWay to take underprivileged children on a trek, and the first trek in the series of trek was on 30 Aug 09 to Nagala. Though we did not respect the meticulous planning, despite the last minute dropouts, road block after a delayed drive through road traffic, nothing could stop us from having fun the CTC way.
“25 kids walked trough the narrow trail dodging thorn bushes and thick undergrowth, walked on a narrow path along a precipice accompanied by 3 volunteers from CTC, 7 from NalandaWay foundation.”
The group started at 1000 hrs at Royapuram, Chennai. Rough calculation told us that we should be reaching the Dam at Nagala at 1230 hrs. The traffic after Periyapalayam [On the puttur highway off the red hills toll post] and the road block on the road to Nagalapuram after Utthukottai delayed us. We hand re-trace a route and had to take a route just before the Kaveri River Bridge. Thanks to Balu for his excellent navigation.Do I need to mention the dance party we had on the way to Nagalapuram inside the bus. The party reached Nagalapuram at 1330hrs and was received by Peter who had stayed back along with 6 other members after the Social trek with children of Hope foundation on 29 Aug 09. The kids had their lunch atop the dam and were enquiring every one who came with in their earshot if they were to be permitted to bathe in the dam water through mouthfuls of food. They had no idea of the beauty of the first pool of Nagala, so we did not blame them for getting exited at the sight of the meagre water in the dam.
One would need to cross a temple and two streams to reach the first pool, and the kids demonstrated how inquisitive they could be. They peeped in the well at the temple, a couple of them even tried to fish using their towels at the first stream which had ankle deep water. It took the kids 40 minutes to reach the pool, and they did not wait for us to permit this time. I had never thought any one could enter the water that fast, in a matter of seconds more than half the group was in the water wading at the shallow water , doing back flips from the rock jutting out in to the pool.
Their joy knew no bounds, even the less confident ones were persuaded in to the water at the sight of an inflated rubber tube and sleeping mats being used as buoys . We spent the rest of the evening playing and swimming in the pool with the kids.
Though my other treks gave me a pleasure from seeing the natural beauty of mountains this trek made me happy seeing the contented smile in the face of the kids.
Organized by: Stalin, Peter
Posted by: Karthick Sundararajan