If there is one event that brings all the nature-lovers under one roof, it is “Trek Polama”, the annual trekking symposium organized by the Chennai Trekking Club. Trek Polama is a two-day event that comprises talks, workshops, live demos by renowned speakers, in addition to a range of indoor and outdoor activities.
“CTC”, as Chennai Trekking Club is popularly known as, was founded in 2008, and in 8 short years has emerged as one of the most active and largest voluntary organizations in South India with over 30,000 members and counting.
In 2010, CTC decided to celebrate its anniversary by organizing the trekking symposium for the first time. It was a one day event consisting of workshops about wildlife conservation, mountaineering, survival in the wild, GPS navigation, and so on. It turned out to be a resounding success, registering a 1000-plus footfall. Since then Trek Polama has grown beyond expectations, both in numbers and the range of talks and activities.
With each passing year, as the number of volunteers increased, so did the number of CTC initiatives and the environmental causes the group took on. Though trekking remained the backbone of the group, keen volunteers dove into a variety of activities such as social awareness, fitness, Green Drive, blood donation, relief work (Triathlon, Javadhu Ultra, MTB/SUV/Bike trips, Hill run activities, Red Knights, Plantation drive, coastal cleanup, Ainthinai, photography walks, hiss hikes, cycling trips). People of all ages, from a 2-year old child to senior citizens as well as the differently abled, were encouraged to take part.
To do justice to this wide spectrum of activities, Trek Polama 2012 went big, emerging into a two day event instead of one. Eminent speakers from different walks of life were invited to educate and discuss topics ranging from conservation of wildlife, sustainable living, heritage mapping, endurance sports, to navigation techniques. Companies selling adventure equipment were allowed to set up stalls showcasing fitness gear. Sustainable living entrepreneurs displayed organic farming techniques. Fitness, wildlife conservation and sustainable living are some of the themes that have remained constant through the many years of Trek Polama.
Trek Polama 2016 is expected to be the biggest and most ambitious event yet. CTC has started putting together this year’s line-up of speakers, which will be a mix of regular and new faces. The event will be held in Thiruvanmiyur on February 20 and 21.
If a simple trek, a cycling trip, or a photography walk has remained a dream because you don't know HOW? WHEN? And WHERE? Then come! Be a part of Trek Polama 8, where all your questions are answered by the best in and on the field.
Author: Bhavana RR (firstname.lastname@example.org) Going by my email id, you can perhaps guess that I'm an oldie..when chatting to random strangers on yahoo was all the rage!) I'm a stay-at-home mom of two little boys. Live in IITMadras. I was in NCC way bk, so trekking/volunteering isn't new to me. I was with Indian Express as a Website Content Editor...ok 10y ago!