Save The Trail
An Initiative By Trekup India
About Trekup India's Save The Trail
We, Trekup India being the oldest and safest trekking organization in the Himalayas since 1993, with passes of time we have seen many drastic changes in the Himalayas, Himalayan lifestyle, changes are both positive and negative, but when standing on our roots and thinking about the future its worrying. With our Save the Trail mission we are trying to put a light on both Himalayan Life and Nature and hence it has become necessary and important to ACT NOW, as we are already late for the mission, the entire Trekup India family and all associated with us, are going to put in all our efforts it to make it a successful and impactful mission.
For past many years we have boom of tourism and its affect over the Himalayas, we want people to continue trekking and explore the destinations as it empowers the local and as a tourist you have your own benefits, travelling / trekking with consciousness its necessity of today, otherwise there would be no trekking in the Himalayas or no destination will be left for exploration, we are sure you want to be in a pure and pristine nature but not in a Garbage Dump yard, which can badly affect the Himalayas. Trekking and travelling have helped the communities living in the Himalayas as because of these adventure activities the local livelihood is also getting improved, being more skilled and empowered and the future generation being educated and aware. At the same time, we get an opportunity to learn about the traditions and cultures and if you have enough time from your internet and phone hear the lovely story of Himalayas from the old people, know about the importance of spiritualism, the mythology and their dedication and belief in it. We call ourselves proud Himalayan but we have to SAVE our Himalayas, Our People, Our Culture, Our Tradition, today we are afraid of the Climate Change, Goble Warming, Bad health of Ozon Layers, depletion of our Himalayas and melting of our glaciers, which is making us worry that if we don’t act now tomorrow NEITHER we will have Himalayas NOR we will have our ROOTS both are vanishing at lightning speed.
Hence, Trekup India under the project SAVE THE TRAIL AND SAVE HIMALAYAS we have initiated many awareness programs and many activities, below will discuss more about it!!
Why We Started SAVE THE TRAIL PROJECT?
As we have discussed above there are numerous challenges in the Himalayas and therefore as a solution, we have started some initiation at Grass root level and have aimed to take the mission to larger scale and we want the local’s people, local administrative bodies, and authorities to help and support us to make a big impact in the environment and society. Below we are mentioning after seeing what made us think over.
Importance of Himalayas
The Himalayas not only provide a barrier to Asia but also affect India’s weather and climate. The mountains block the Monsoon winds to shed moisture as rain in North India. It also protects from chilled winds from Central Asia and is the birthplace of three major rivers like the Indus, Ganga, and Brahmaputra. And many of these rivers form flood plains which are good for agriculture. The Himalayas are also the source of different natural water sources. The Himalayas have protected us from various Asian countries. The Himalayas are home to various medicinal plants.
Himalayas as an Attraction
When we hear the name Himalayas, the image that comes in front of our eyes is snow-covered peaks. People consider mountains a source of relaxation from their mundane lives and have either visited or wished to visit once in their lifetime. The Himalayas provide clean air full of oxygen and are not just about hills but also known for their wildlife. There are beautiful trees (Deodar, Shamshad, Bhoj patra, Ban, and Kharsu which are kinds of Oak). These trees add to the serenity of the mountains and the river. We also see various rivers while driving there which are the Ganges, Brahmaputra, Indus, Chenab, Jhelum, and Yamuna. These are one of the few rivers flowing through the Himalayan Mountains. In the Himalayas, nine out of ten of the world’s highest peaks are there, such as Mount Everest. The Himalayan range is a natural beauty and acts as a barrier between the Ancient India Civilization and the rest of Asia. There is a variety of cultures in the Himalayas as they extend from the Indus River in Kashmir and then from Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh. It also passes through Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Assam on the North-East side. In the north-west Karakoram, the Pamir, and the Hindu Kush ranges.
Increasing Tourism & Burden on Himalayas
The Himalayas’ beauty has led to an increasing number of people travelling. Due to the variety of mountain ranges, everyone wants to trek on them. Nature makes many people want to travel to these regions to feel and experience the lofty Himalayas, the trekkers who are professionals in trekking want to climb the highest peaks and reach the topmost mountains and in the name of unexplored destination various destination and villages have come to light due to tourism and villages not explored before. Due to the increasing number of visitors, infrastructure development has increased. Due to infrastructure development, it greatly affected local employment and let tourists know about and explore the culture of Northern villages. As there are advantages to tourism in the Himalayas, there are also disadvantages to tourism. As a lot of tourists visit the Himalayas, it affects the mountains gravely. As many people visit the mountains, the temperature of the mountains rises, which leads to the melting of glaciers. As tourists explore the mountains, they also throw garbage all around, causing pollution and affecting wildlife. The increasing number of tourists on the hills led to increased infrastructure development which led to forest deforestation. Because the forest being cut down resulted in mountain weakening, which resulted in landslides. As the forest is depleted it indirectly affects animals, as they do not have food to eat. To construct road mountains are blasted which also weakens mountains. Most people prefer to trek in the mountains, which has led to various impacts such as a lot of people trekking on the trek, the trek gets deepened due to erosion. This causes destabilization of the slopes, which then results in landslides and falling rock as well as an increase in erosion. It is not uncommon for trekkers to enjoy bonfires at night and leave them burning, which can cause forest fires.
- Each year our Himalayan glaciers are being pushed back by meters or getting weaker to form tragedy such as the one in Kedarnath valley, Uttarakhand in 2013.
- Exploitation of the Himalayan Trail by increasing number of adventurers and this increasing every year.
- The pure form of river sources is slowly getting extinct.
- The huge concrete jungle is being bult in the name of infrastructure development, which is burdening our flora and fauna.
- Cutting of mountains, building of huge tunnels, hydropower is leading to sinking of mountains as of Joshimath in Uttarakhand.
- The migration of unemployed locals resulting in leaving behind their roots.
How We Do It
It is always tough and challenging to start a project with high motivation, however when dedication and hard work is put together, one can do the impossible and we all know even a small thing makes a big difference. Below are some of our practices: –
- All trekkers trekking with Team Trekup India are provided with specially designed and customized save the Trail Bags to keep the garbage. As per the guidelines each trekker must tie the bag on their waist and collect all the waste which they might have thrown on the trail if not for the bag.
- When the trekkers come back down, they are encouraged to place garbage in the designated dustbins. The trekkers will collect waste in their bags and after they have come back from the trip, they will put the waste in dustbins in the designated areas at the campsites.
- Segregating at the camping site, on the camping sites Trekup India separates the waste in different sections such as dry waste, and wet waste. Which are then sent off to the relevant depositing areas according to their type.
- Collecting leftover garbage left by other trekkers, a separate team is organized which goes on the trail and collects waste thrown by other trekkers.
- Encouraging plantation through various Save The Trail Programs, we plan out a day in which we as team plant trees as a measure to save the Himalayan trek trails.
- Collaborating with the locals, NGOs, Government Authorities to Save the Himalayan Trek Trails. We collaborate with locals, NGOs and government authorities in the events organized by them to provide our contribution and help in any way possible to save the Himalayas.
- Organize various awareness workshops at the grass root level. With the help of workshops to the local or trekkers we spread awareness about saving the Himalayan trek trails.
Our Future Projects to Save the Trails
We are planning for some of following mission to save the trails: –
- Organizing an event to celebrate National Trail or Hiking Day, to spread awareness about protecting the Himalayan trails.
- Collaborate with companies who provide environmentally friendly cosmetic products to be used by trekkers.
- Networking of knowledge institutions engaged in studies on Himalayan Ecosystem including traditional knowledge system on preservation and conservation of environment.
- Building network among the local operators for eco & sustainable tourism policy in the Himalayas.
- Develop Volunteer base programs working on Save the trail programs.
- Promotion and encouragement of sustainable Pilgrimage, taking all Measures for promoting the healthy and sustainable development of religious pilgrimage to the many sacred and holy sites scattered all over the Himalayas.
- Water Bodies protection and initiate a state-wide programme for rejuvenation of Himalayan springs and protection of high-altitude lakes.
- Develop and build environment protection awareness programs and seminars.
We strongly encourage to actively participate in our SAVE THE TRAIL MISSION- Let’s Save the Himalayas with TEAM TREKUP INDIA.