Rakesh Pant – Founder – Trek The Himalayas
Trek The Himalayas, a well-known company that organizes treks and mountaineering, located in Rishikesh, was founded by Mr. Rakesh Pant, an active and experienced mountaineer about 5 years ago.
About the organization and activities of Trek The Himalayas, Rakesh tells us that they arrange mountaineering expedition for schools and public. Mainly the organization does trekking in Himalayas and on a smaller scale in Uttarakand and Himachal. He says for anyone who comes for trekking – it is categorized into two levels – medium category which is an easier one for beginners and a difficult category for those who have had experience as professional trekkers. The treks are customized each week, different regions are selected and difficulty levels differ according to the category of people.
Trekking Options for School Students
· For school students the trekking program is customized depending on the student level.
· Summer and autumn seasons are suitable for school students
· The organization selects students in the age group of 10-12 years and 13-15 years
· They are taken on easy and moderate treks
· Usually boarding and international schools approach them for the program
The duration of trekking for the easy and moderate group will be 4-6 days and 8-9 days. During summer time, it is around 6 days. Some schools prefer to do weekend trekking for 2 days and 3 nights. Often people come for 4 days and 5 nights. There are schools that come for a program of 1 night and 2 days also.
Rakesh says that the weekend easy treks will cover about 10-20 kms and moderate ones will cover 30-40 kms. The areas covered will be Himachal and Uttaranchal. They select these two areas because it is easy to travel and are well connected to metro cities also.
Safety Measures on Treks
About the safety measures taken for children who go on trekking, the company takes all measures to ensure their safety. “We have a team of personal trainers who have done mountaineering courses and are certified by the government.” For every six students, a trek leader and one guide are arranged. They have done their training in first aid and other safety measures.
School children are picked up from their respective schools or nearby pickup points and from the base camp they go on adventure activities during day time. They are also encouraged to do rock climbing and team building activities. The food is supplied to them by the company.
About hygiene maintained during camps, Rakesh says that students are trained when they are in camps. Sleeping bags that are used during camps are cleaned before next usage. Utensils are cleaned by the helpers and the supporting staff that accompany them during the camps. Generally there is one base camp and children come there. The camp is shifted during long treks and things are moved on horses and mules.
The charge for the treks depends on the number of children and the area proposed. For a trek of 1 night and 2 days, the charge will vary from Rs. 3000 – 4000 or Rs. 7000 – 8000.
Technology free treks – bonding with nature
When asked about how they prevent children from using the electronic gadgets, Rakesh says, “When children come for camps, we collect the gadgets and junk foods before the trek. Once they have finished the trekking, when they go back, the gadgets are returned. We want them to be involved in the activity and that is the idea of collecting the gadgets. We want them to enjoy nature and develop leadership qualities.”
Rakesh says that generally after the trekking camp, people become more independent. Many children when they were at home, would not have packed their personal belongings, but they pack all their personal things after the trek. They learn to eat everything after the camp. “Food habits also change after the trek. We have seen this many a times.” They have fixed menus and this has had a good effect on them.
Rakesh concludes saying that they contact the schools for the camps but nowadays they get queries from schools. There are also a few schools who conduct adventure activities for their children.
For more information, please visit: http://www.trekthehimalayas.com