Monday, September 21, 2009
Its Time to Celebrate and Thank People.
Greeting from all staff of "The Sharavathi Nature Trails..."
Hurray ! we have completed 1 Year of Water sports activities !
Though we were organizing Trekking activities much earlier, we are just completing 1 year of water sports activities by this weekend.
What made us to start these activities?
I have been an ardent nature all through my life. Whenever i see a beautiful landscape, i get the most satisfaction compared to doing anything else. When i first trekked in Sharavathi valley, I just loved every bit of the this rain forest. I liked the peaks, water falls, valley and ever lively streams. Also i will not forget to describe the Linganamakki Reservoir backwater region in the valley. I simply call it as "Heaven on earth". Yes it is indeed. That thick lush green vegetation, those mountains guarding around the backwater makes the place heavenly. When i first Trekked in 90's i just fell in love with this valley. I used to trek every weekend in the valley then. Seeing my enthusiasm, trek organizers offered me a volunteer post where in i will guide the trek team. I was so happy for getting what i was interested in !.
As i was interacting with tribal people of the valley regularly, i came across lot of harsh realities. Major problem was that of livelihood ! for them. Many families are the one displaced when Linganamakki dam was built. All they got is an acre or so land when their loved house, land submerged in the backwater. By now this one acre has been divided in to small pieces of land among sibling , so the livelihood problem. They were forced to find the alternative livelihood as the land they got was not sufficient at all. But the alternative they found was really bad for the forest, themselves and to everyone ! ie., they started cutting off and smuggling rose wood / jungle wood logs !. Forest department had harrowing experience to contain this problem. But people are really nice, they were doing just for the livelihood.
How it started ?
I watched all these problem and decided to do something for it. That's when i came across Narayana of kattinakar. He is simply awesome. His attitude, his abilities to grasp things, his love for the forest, his forest knowledge all became handy to put things in order. What ever i plan and inform him about it, he would simply do it and show me. I really got the major support from him. Thats when we decided to keep doing things which will employ these people, so that they get the decent livelihood. We started off organizing trekking and initially we employed about just 3 people. But our perseverance gave the great result in the first few days itself. And now we have been able to create employment for about 20 youths. Encouraged by this, we started off thinking other type of activities to employ more people. Since i had little knowledge on water sports activities, we thought we would do something on these lines and started searching for a perfect place. For almost 6 months we searched for the place and finally we landed at Gubbagodu.
The people who have helped us
Though we had idea and knowledge, we had problem for the capital required to purchase the equipment. Even conservative estimate started crossing a Rs lakh mark !. When i approached few regular trekkers, they were all appreciative of this effort and helped us generously. Among them are Rahul pathak, his cousin Prshanth pathak and Vinod gaitonde. These people's monetary help and the moral support helped us to start off things smoothly.
Though surrounding villagers were skeptical about our motive initially, they all supported our effort eventually. We will remember the services of Mr.Subbarao of Gubbagodu village at this moment. Without his consistent effort , it would have been difficult to convince sarrounding villagers. The other 2 persons who helped us to settle down and convince villagers are Mr.Sridhar Hegde and Mr.Ranganath Hegde. Both of them worked hard to convince villagers and Govt authorities to grant permission.
Another person whom we remember forever is Mr.Vijaya Kumar, Range Forest Officer of Sagar sub division. He is one of the most upright officer. smugglers have a very bad time in his tenure. He was appreciative of our effort and he encouraged us to carry on as it helped the department in containing the illegal logging and smuggling of other forest resources.
When we went and met Mr.Praveen Kumar, The Assistant Commissioner of Sagar Sub division to grant permission to conduct the activities, He too appreciated the idea and helped us to settle down. Our sincere thanks to him.
Other two persons we would like to thank is Mr. John Fransis (Joe) and Mr.Shashidhar Gadad. Initially they helped us by shooting some of the most beautiful photos of the camp place.
Last but not least, Almost all our trekkers have helped us directly and indirectly, we would like to thank all of them.
Our Water sports / Nature camp program completes 1 year by this weekend with much success. To mark this occasion, We plan to have a "Pooja" in our camp at Gubbagodu on 27th September 2009 Sunday.
On behalf of Trustees and staff of The Sharavathi Trails..., I cordially Invite you all for the Pooja. Please free up yourself This weekend and grace the occasion.
The Sharavathi Nature Trails...