To familiarise youngsters with their environment, an organisation from North Bengal initiates trekking to the lesser known routes of the region
Odlabari Nature and Adventure Society, a low-budget environmental outfit, generates environmental awareness among school students by hosting trekking camps.

Initiated back in 2000, the organisation is engaged in discovering new, lesser-known trekking routes in the district of Kalimpong and popularises these routes among trekkers. Nafsar Ali, coordinator, Odlabari Nature and Adventure Society, said, “We have hosted one-day trekking expedition to Makum in the district of Kalimpong in December 2018.

The 58- km trek route kicked off from Odlabari and passed through Turibari, reached Makum and ended at Lava. The trekking trail highlights the pristine beauty of nature. Another trekking camp was held from Odlabari to Elbong in the district of Kalimpong also during the same time. We had to cross the river Ghees during the two-day trek that stretches over 55 km.

We mostly organise short trekking expeditions with school-goers to make them conscious about their environment.” It is highly essential for school-going children to know about the environment in which they reside. Once they get to know about their environment and understand the diversities of nature, they develop a sense of fellow feeling for the nature.

The group takes up activities ranging from A to Z of nature and these include conducting nature awareness workshops, adventure camps, bird-watching and trekking. The environmental entity also took up one-day trekking to Garubathan and reached Ambik Tea Garden in Kalimpong district. Ali further said, “We reached Paanch Pokhri and trekked back to Dalim Fort at a height of about 4,000 ft above sea level. We had hosted a three-day summer camp at Kabulgot in Kalimpong district in February last year. Kabulgot is at a distance of about 10 km from Odlabari.

The camp recorded the presence of around 35 students from Odlabari Industrial Training Institute (ITI) College. There were sessions on rock climbing, shelter making, selfcooking, river crossing on Ghees and survival in jungles.” The group also conducted birdwatching camp at Kabulgot for the students. Ali added, “Nearly eight avian species abound at Kabulgot of which all are resident birds. A number of hornbills are sighted at Kabulgot.”