CTC in Dinamalar

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Untouched hills.. Jungles that do not have any trace of human activity.. Who would not want to venture into these natures prestine treasure troves? And it is just for those adventure lovers who want to venture into them, that the "Chennai Trekking Club" was started..

The club, which organizes these fun filled and at times dangerous treks was started in 2008 by a group of people working for IT companies. Of these, Peter Van Geit from Belgium and Balaji Sekar are still active members of the community.

"We started trekking for fun on weekends but today CTC helps disemminate/advocate principles of environmental science, conservation of nature and social responsibility among the public. For example, recently plastic waste was removed in a clean-up drive by the CTC at beaches starting from Marina to Injambakkam. 17.6 tonnes of plastic waste was ...."


Similarly, we were involved in clean ups at Tada region as well," says Tilak Raj, a community member.

Those who wish to register themselves can do so at their website. Each month 500 new individuals join the community, hence they have an incredible 15000 members in the club. From the Himalayas to the ghats of south India, they have set foot on more than 375 mountains so far.

"There is no age bar for participating in these treks, but one ought to be mentally tough. We have segregated the trekkers under three categories according to their experience. The first timers are taken to easy, low intensity treks, those who have completed 4 to 5 treks are taken to more difficult ones while the most experienced are allowed to participate in the toughest of treks. Each group has 20 to 25 trekkers, at least one of whom is an experienced swimmer. Prior to starting the hikes, the participants are trained in First-Aid, Photography and Navigational skills. Each group has a coordinator and volunteers whose responsibility is to assist and motivate the rest in the group.

Prior to treks to mountainous regions, we would go to the places in person and study the terrain. We would map the sources of water, study the presence of wild life and would decide on suitable camping sites. Only after this, do we plan the trek. We trek mountains on foot, bicycles or motorcycles," says Tilak Raj.

He adds, (on rules for participants) "It is forbidden to litter the wilderness with plastic. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted. Disturbing the harmony of the wilderness is in essence not allowed. These are the ground rules to adhere to. Violators' membership to the club would be terminated. Each participant has to bring appropriate footwear, 3 bottles of water, spoons, glucose, flash light, salt (used to treat cramps/sprains).

Those who participate in treks to mountains have to be capable of handling tough situations. These treks might involve very dangerous, even life threatening and risky trails. We explore trails that humans may have never set foot on. It might take a week, sometimes even longer to complete such high intensity treks. So mental toughness is paramount. If you think you have got what it takes, join us!", says Tilak Raj. Note worthy info: The community has started taking destitute and special children along during easy/low intensity treks. They also involve these special children in celebratory activities like members' birthdays.



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