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Creating environmental awareness

A North Bengal-based environmental group is set to host a nature camp, which will engage around 100 underprivileged children in activities like trekking, camping and rock-climbing.

Swaati Chaudhury | Kolkata |

The oldest environmental outfit in North Bengal — Rovers and Mountaineers’ Club — is set to organise its annual nature study-cum adventure camp to provide exposure to children and familiarise them with the many facets of nature. The camp will be held at Santalabari in Buxa Tiger Reserve in the district of Alipurduar from 26-31 December this year.

Subrato Ganguly, secretary, Rovers and Mountaineers’ Club said, “The nature study camp will have the participation of around 100 students belonging to tribal households in the age group of eight to 14 years. With a rivulet – Buxajhora, which has three tributaries, Santlabari forms an ideal nature camping site. The camp will focus on the manners of trekking and camping. There will be a short, uphill trek from Santlabari to Buxaduar that forms a winding trekking trail stretching up to five km. Buxa Hills lie in this region. The camp will provide an elementary know-how on rock climbing. Both Santlabari and Buxa are favourable grounds for identifying butterfly species as well.” Those joining the nature study camp do not have to shell out any amount.

Ganguly also pointed out that there are around 150 avian species in Buxaduar, making it an ideal destination for bird-watchers. There are hornbill species as well, including pied hornbill and king hornbill in Buxaduar.

Ganguly further said, “The camp encourages below-poverty line and tribal students to join the adventure camp.”

The environmental set-up is also planning a high altitude mountain expedition either at Mt Frey peak in West Sikkim or Friendship Peak in the district of Leh.

Ganguly said, “We are zeroing on the expedition site. It will be a 12-day tour from Alipurduar. Both Mt Frey and Friendship peak are around 17,000 ft high. Friendship Peak is one of the most renowned peaks in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himachal Himalayas and forms a challenging terrain for high-altitude trekkers and mountain climbers. The expedition is for budding mountain climbers and trekkers in the age bracket of eight to 25 years and will be in the summer months in the coming year.”

The mountain expedition is expected to have around 15 participants. Ganguly added, “The mountain expedition will provide an option for the younger generation to be among nature. Our voluntary outfit will decide on the budget.”