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Embarking upon adventure

Nanda Devi Foundation’s annual nature study camp for students is a platform to gear up for mountaineering courses in renowned institutes of the Himalayas.

Swaati Chaudhury |

Here’s a piece of news for those with a penchant for adventure. One of the oldest environmental groups of Alipur Duar called Nanda Devi Foundation is gearing up to host its annual adventure-cum nature study camp for school-goers in the age bracket of five to 14 years. This nature study camp will provide budding adventure enthusiasts with an opportunity to be prepared for mountaineering courses in renowned institutes of the Himalayas.

The six-day camp with be held in association with Buxa Tiger Reserve at Howdah in the district of Alipur Duar from 26 to 31 December. Howdah is barely four km from Jayanti and 35 km from Alipur Duar.

According to Swapan Majumdar, founder and executive member, Nanda Devi Foundation, “Nearly 40 school children from all over the state will be present in the nature study camp. The students will get ample of options to hone their skills in a wide range of adventure activities. There will be students from government-owned schools, government-aided and private schools. The camp will organise sessions on jungle trekking, demonstration on rock climbing, river crossing and knot practise for rock climbing. Students will be made aware on mountain manners, Himalayan hazards and map reading. We mould the adventure skills of the students in such a way so that they do not falter at the time of embarking upon adventure. The environmental group was shaped up way back in 1986 and since then has been doing its bit to organise its annual event.

Besides school students, there will be rock climbing course for the youth and students in the age group of 15 to 35 years. Majumdar said, “Around 60 candidates from all across the state will make their presence in courses like night trekking, rock climbing, shelter making in Buxa Tiger Reserve and river crossing on river Jayanti.

The course fee is Rs 1,400 for Adventure-cum-Nature Study camp while the rock climbing course ranges Rs 1,600. On completion of the rock climbing course, the successful candidates are selected to take up mountaineering course in Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling, Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi and Atal Bihari Mountaineering Institute in Manali.”

Most of the adventure and nature camps taken up by the voluntary group are single-handed endeavour of the environmental outfit. Apart from this, the voluntary group is in parleys to roll out high-altitude trekking at Sandakphu for the youth brigade. The six-day high-altitude trek will commence in the end of January 2019.