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Imbibing environmental awareness

Swaati Chaudhury |

Environmental conservation is the call of today’s world and for those young brave hearts who are motivated by adventure and trekking trails, here’s some interesting news. Alipurduar’s Nanda Devi Foundation is readying itself to host an annual nature study, adventure and rock climbing camp with school and college-goers from 26 to 31December.

Jay Shankar Pal Chaudhury, secretary, Nanda Devi Foundation commented, “The camp is open for the younger lot in between 4-35 years.

There would be around 150 school and college students making their presence in the upcoming nature study camp. It will be held at Howda, Alipurduar, located at a distance of around three km from Jayanti in the buffer zone of Buxa Tiger Reserve.

The nature study camp will comprise bird and butterfly watching and identifying medicinal flora and ayurvedic herbs. The adventure activities will include ways to rescue individuals from natural calamities like flood.

The students will be imparted training on how to save individuals when a fire breaks at home or if they get lost in the heart of the wild.” Besides, there will be sessions on rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing, trekking and zoomering for students attending the camp. For those interested to know about high-altitude trekking in eastern Hima-layas, there is an array of opportunities. The voluntary group will embark upon high-altitude trekking to Sandakphu in January, next year.

Pal Chaudhury said, “The seven-day trek is for school and college students above 15 years. The purpose of organising this trek is to make the younger generation acclimatise in the harsh climatic conditions of the eastern and north-eastern Himalayas. As one goes higher up, breathing problem arises owing to deficiency of oxygen and the phenomenon is quite frequent in eastern Himalayas than Uttaranchal and Himachal Himalayas. The presence of high humidity content in the air is one of the factors contributing to suffocation in high-altitude zones.”

The Sandakphu trek will begin from the base camp- Maneybhanjan and will proceed to Shipra, Meghmar, Gauribas, Kalapokhri, Bike Bhanjan and terminate at Sandakphu, all in the district of Darjeeling in indo-Nepal border. Here one pertinent question arises-what is it that makes the Sandakphu trek the most sought-after for avid trekkers?

“The unique selling preposition of the trek is the unforgettable glimpse of 25 icecapped peaks lying in Nepal, India and Bhutan like the renowned Mt Everest, Kanchenjunga, and the lesser-known Mt Japnu and Mt Black Kabrudom et al,” said Pal Chaudhury.

The trek also offers scenic views of floral biodiversity and as one climbs higher up, the vegetation changes, gradually becoming sparse and an arid zone appears. “The students get to view the change in floral biodiversity in the high altitude zone of the eastern Himalayas. Viewing an array of 25 icy pinnacles at a glance comes as an added bonus for trekkers and mountain lovers,” added Pal Chaudhury.