Sunday, April 13, 2014

'Un-littering' the Kumaraparvatha - Cleaning Initiative of the peak by Classic Trekkers

The Western Ghats is a unique Bio-diversity destination, that supports thousands of endangered and endemic species of flora and fauna. It is also recognized by the UNESCO as one of the Bio-diversity hot-spots of the world. The landscape of this region is filled with tall mountains covered by lush-green forests - such a landscape that brings monsoon to India and plays a major role in setting up the climate of our nation.

Untill recent years, this stretch of mountains and forests were less disturbed from human intervention. But, due to sudden increase in the 'Tourism' activities in these regions, the mountains are in the verge of getting littered heavily. One of the Tourism-Based-reasons, is the increasing number of trekkers/hikers visiting the popular peaks.

It is surely not a bad idea, to go for a trek to some of the highest peaks of the Ghats.

One takes up trekking to put himself/herself to a test, and to learn to face challenging scenarios as well as survival techniques.

In the midst of keeping ourselves 'up-and-running-with-full-energy', we forget some basic responsibilities that cost heavily on the environment of the region.

Consider the scenarios explained below:

1. When trekkers are in a huge group, there is obviously high 'litter'-ization of the peak and mountain-trails - Not everyone in the group is concerned about the environment. 

2. The trek would be so challenging that people are too tired to think about 'not-throwing-waste-stuff'.
- At least a few members of the group are p***ed off, due to the tiresome hike, to an extent that they cannot think about anti-'litter'-ization. They just wanna throw away everything and leave.

3.  A few people of the type 'Hey Man...Cmmon...Lets do some crazy stuff!!!', in the group are the most dangerous kind.
-  Having a liquor party at the peak/forest, Putting up huge fire, dancing and screaming like crazies, and throwing away wastes ... Doing stuff for which you are not answerable to anyone in the middle of the jungle!!!

Don't you think the above scenarios along with a couple others, shall ruin the nature of that place??!!

Keeping all this in mind, we - a bunch of 23 Trekkers under the name 'Classic Trekkers', took up an initiative to clean up the trails of Kumara Parvatha Peak(Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Coorg Dist.), on the 23rd and 24th of February, 2014. It was evident for the choice of the peak, since it has an increasing volume of visitors since a decade. As per forest department records, at least 100 trekkers visit the peak every day, during the period of November to March. The statistics drove us to take up the mission and guide other fellow trekkers to 'un-litter' the place.

A few pictures regarding the initiative put up here -

The March to save Kumara Parvatha

The campaign began from the village of Kumarahalli (Hegde Mane), where the trail begins from the Coorg-side towards Kukke Subrahmanya.
Never Easy...!!!

Hiking + Un-littering

We had put up few slogan-boards regarding the awareness of keeping the peak and trail, litter-free..!! Thanks for the support from the Forest Department Personnel at Hegdemane, towards the initiative.

Slogan board at the entrance to the trail from the Kumarahalli Village Forest Dept. Office, Somavarpet Taluq

Slogan board at the Kumaraparvatha Peak

A slogan board near 'Kallu Chappara'

Momento distribution ceremony to the Bhatt Brothers (Bhatra Mane, Girigadde), who have been supporting the Hikers for the past two decades - They arrange for food, water and shelter in the midst of the Kumaraparvatha trail, where there is no other human occupancy in a radius of 10 Kms...! Worth paying respect to the duo. Momento given by Chethan Shastry, an active member of the Classic Trekkers group.
A pic with Bhatru.

Kukke Subrahmanya town as seen from the Peak
Mountain flowers - a few floral types are endemic to this region
A few endemic species of the Lizard Family captured on the lens

Roof-top of the Western Ghats

Welcome note at the Pushpagiri Forest Dept. Office 

The forest departments of Kukke Subrahmanya and Somvarpet Taluq, have also taken up measures for keeping the region 'litter-free'. They have placed Garbage Drums at many places, so that people can carry the wastes in their own bags till they reach these disposal Drums. However such an arrangement might not be available in the other peaks of the Western Ghats.

A few 'To-do' and 'Not-To-Do' things in this regard -

1. Make arrangements to carry your waste stuff while trekking - General Plastic wrappers, Chips wrappers, Chocolates/Soap/Shampoo sachets, bottles, Tins, etc..
2. Do not throw any kind of waste into the forest(at random) - It might not only affect the environment, but shall catch the attention of wild animals when they are at reachable distance, even when not visible.
3. Spread the word - Motivate other trekking groups in this direction. Encourage the ones who are already into it.
4. Put off the fire that you lit - Make sure that there are no traces of fire, when you leave the place of camping.
5. It is not a party ground - When in the midst of Nature, respect it. Do not consider the peaks as party points. Get into a hotel if you wanna do so..!!

Share whatever you have read among your buddies, and put your hands together towards protecting Nature... from the crooked part of our our own kind...!!!

Trek Earth - Destinations