To celebrate CTC's 5th birthday and spread our passion on outdoors, adventure, nature and conservation around 300 members met up the past 2 days to attend the highlight of the year Trek Polamaa, in its 4th edition. It was no doubt one of the best TPs in years with an amazing mix of speakers who came to share their life's passion with our group.
First of all I want to thank the many volunteers without whom it would have not been possible to organize this years event. A group photo of this enthusiastic bunch yesterday night:
Equally grateful to our sponsors provided us with the financial resources to organize such a large event:
Deccan Chronicle, New Indian Express and The Hindu dropped by to see what's happening in CTC. DC published the article below on Sunday:
(photo taken from last year)
The registration desk and sponsor stalls at the venue:
A BIG thanks to Kannan and Preetha who generously lend the spacious rooftop of their Tirunvanmyur office as the venue for Trek Polamaa the second year in a row and for the many ongoing workshops in CTC. Thanks for giving us our very own space!
We sincerely thank the 80+ members who stepped forward this weekend to donate blood (with a smile!) in between the ongoing speaker sessions!
Sandhiya kicked off TP this year presenting the amazing efforts her team of green volunteers had taken during the past year planting more then 1200 trees across locations around Chennai with an appeal for more members to join this cause.
Just Sportz, one of our platinum sponsors, showcased a wide range of excellent trekking gears at the venue - all essentials for your CTC trek are available at their outlet in Chennai, home delivery option available
Arun Krishnamurthy, founder of Environmental Foundation of India, stepped in next to highlight his concerns on the many vanishing lakes around the city and his groups' effort in conserving these essential parts of our biosphere
Just Buy Cycles, our 2nd platinum sponsor, showcased an excellent range of imported aluminum cycles including MTBs, hybrids and road bikes - must drop in for all cyclists and triathletes wanna-be-s
Shakthi from Madras Crocodile Bank presented the endangerment of the Gharial crocodiles and the important need for its conservation
Butter Milk, Tang and 100% natural millet cookies (sponsored by Oneva) kept the audience refreshed and going all day long
Kedar had flown in from Pune to showcase the conservation efforts by the Shri Shiv Durg Samvardhan charitable organization on various forts around Maharastra
Vikas kept us glued in our chairs showing some nice videos on hiking, biking and rock climbing in the most beautiful Sahyadris
Mid afternoon Just Buy Cycles organized a small workshop on cycles, fixing punctures and more
Next speaker Gujju had been running the last 6 days all the way from Bangalore to speak on his life journey in rock climbing and bouldering
The final session of the first day was presented by Sara - wildlife cinematographer freelancer working for BBC and National Geographic - who showcased a breathtaking video on tiger jungles that kept the audience enthralled till late in the evening
Manick kicked of the second day with an interesting presentation on Trekking & Life, giving a historical perspective and drawing many parallels -
CTC's very own Vallaban took over with a packed session on sports injuries and prevention - no doubt preparation and awareness is key in our ongoing sports initiatives
In between he give some hands on demos on proper sports shoe selection and correctly tying a bandage -
Last speaker of the morning was Chandru who spent 3 decades watching birds and showcasing some of the common species in South -
After lunch Ari took over with a talk on elephant ecology and conservation, highlighting the concern on the increasing number of human-animal conflicts in the last couple of years
CTC member and Ironman Dipankar presented his journey towards completing the full Ironman - 3.9km swimming, 180km cycling and full marathon running
CTC's social pillar Thilak gave a nice summary overview of the various social initiatives in CTC including social treks, visits, events, cleanups and blood donation
Final speaker of this years TP event was Sujan Bernard who had just flown in from Assam to showcase us the common venomous and non-venomous snakes in South -
I wish to highlight and recognize some of the key volunteers in this years Trek Polamaa -
Saba - our untiring coordinator for endless CTC's events including TPs, workshops, marathons, triathlons and more. Saba was also instrumental in arranging this years' TP4 t-shirt
Prabhakar - unseen on the stage but the ever present force behind the scenes who takes care of a myriad of organisational aspects of TP and many other CTC events
Rajiv Athreya - one of the most creative and artistically talents I know and who was responsible for single handily designing all TP4 posters through many late nights
Shyam Durairaj - one man army who spend weeks running around Chennai to get various key things done including audio & video of the event.
Karthik/Nivya/Vinoth and many other photographers who beautifully covered this years event to ensure our passion spreads beyond the venue
Shailesh - has been very instrumental in going after sponsors, vendors and stalls for this years' event
Yazar - newly discovered talent in CTC who designed the new TP4 logo, t-shirts and memento
Rakesh - married but still one of the driving forces behind Trek Polamaa, coordination and accounts
Harini & Punitha - our two lovely anchors who executed this years event flawlessly
Vinod & Bala - remarkable human beings who drove the blood donation initiative and got a record 80 people to donate. Great initiative guys!
And the many many other volunteers who helped us to realize this event.
Thanks to all members who attended Trek Polamaa IV - all sessions were video recorded and will be shared within a week for those who could not be present
(more to follow shortly)