Voice of Navkshitij: May 2014
From The President’s Desk
Thrilling time at Bagicha
This year, we went on a trek to Bagicha, near Kathgodam, from April 27 to May 4. It was a long journey. We first went by train from Pune to Delhi and then took an overnight train from Delhi to Kathgodam. From there, it was a two hour ride by jeep and 1.5 hour trek to the basecamp (Bagicha). It was tiring but once we reached Bagicha, everyone was spellbound by the scenic beauty around. The basecamp was situated at a height of 8,000 feet above sea level. There were rolling mountains and valleys all around, each with its treasure of trees. Red rhododendrons were in full bloom.
What fun it is doing high altitude trekking with our Friends. They now truly enjoy outdoor activities. They love the chirping of the birds and the smell and colours of different varieties of plants.
At Bagicha, we stayed in tents, slept in sleeping bags and trekked four days around this region. We visited a village house, temples and farms. Our day used to begin at 5 a.m. It used to be packed with activities throughout. We had campfire every evening, with Antakshari and songs sung by our Friends.
The highlight of this year’s trek was the adventure activities by our Friends. These activities were not specially designed for them, but the safety measures provided were excellent. It was so good that all of us – the organisers and volunteers – could enjoy the sheer joy and thrill of the activities, without a trace of worry. We did valley crossing, river crossing and log crossing, which was a very tough activity. We came back with fond memories, heightened sense of achievement and a closer feeling of bonding.
For all this, we have to thank Mr. Manoj Bhagvat and Mr. Rajabhau Patankar from Zhep. They accompanied us on this lovely trek. My colleagues from Navkshitij worked tirelessly to make it happen. Families of a few Friends joined us on this memorable trip. I really appreciate their sincere efforts and would like to thank them.
Aditi on a war footing
Aditi is a 26-year-old special woman with severe retardation. Her balance is not good and she needs help while trekking. But she completes every trek with great enthusiasm. She is very adventurous and happy by nature and likes to try many new things. This year, as part of the adventure activities during our high altitude trekking, we had scheduled log crossing, an activity tougher than valley and river crossing. The sequence goes like this: First, one has to climb a 20 feet ladder. Then holding on to thin ropes, one needs to walk on a narrow log, about 15 to 18 inches wide, and placed at a height of 20 feet from the ground. The log is tied between two trees that are 30 feet apart. Of course, all safety measures were in place. Nevertheless, it was scary. (We experienced it first, before we decided to let our Friends try.) So we decided to let three Friends with good balance to participate in the activity.
Friends Abhijit and Rajesh did it successfully. The volunteers got ready to follow suit. When suddenly Aditi said she wanted to participate. We were all pleasantly surprised that after watching the activity she decided to experience this. She was like a warrior, charged and ready. She first climbed the ladder, and then successfully held the two side ropes. Then putting her leg one after another on the narrow log, she started walking. We were as excited and happy as she was. We kept prodding her on. Standing at that height, she proudly asked us to click a photo. She cheered herself along the way. Watch her in action on: http://youtu.be/kIwyUH-zS7w. Not surprisingly, she successfully completed the task and landed gracefully. There was loud cheering as she did so. Every time, unfailingly, our Friends amaze us with their mental strength, tenacity, physical capacity and enthusiasm for living life to the hilt. This, in turn, spurns us to give them more opportunities to try and experience new things.
- June 5: Paryawaran Din (Tree Plantation)
- June 7: Sneh Melava (Get Together)
- June 11: Traffic Awareness Programme at Deccan Gymkhana
- May 4: Return from an exciting trip to Bagicha (near Nainital)
- May 13: Hostel and Workshop reopen after summer vacation
- May 14-24: Student exchange programme with Sadhana Village School
- May 24: Visit by KPIT interns
- May 26: Visit by Barclays Bank
Navkshitij now needs:
- 9 Steel cupboards (small size) – Approximate cost Rs.3,500 each
- 8 Steel cots Approximate cost – Approximate cost Rs. 24,000
- 8 Cotton mattresses & pillows – Approximate cost Rs. 5,000
- 100 Breakfast plates in stainless steel (big size) – Approximate cost Rs. 3,000
- 6 Radios – Approximate cost Rs. 6,000
- 1 Aquaguard Water Filter – Approximate cost Rs 10,000
- 1 Washing Machine – Approximate cost Rs. 20,000
- 2 Garden benches – Approximate cost Rs. 12,000
- 2 Syntax Water Tanks (capacity 2000 litres)
Thank you from Navkshitij to:
- JAKSON Ltd.
- Mr. Akhil S. Panikar
- Mr. Sadanand Yadwadkar
- Mr. Prasad Kamat
- Mr. Deepak
- Sant Isharsingh Nirmal Trust
- Mr. Achary Chintada
- Mr. Charudatta Shinde
- A well-wisher
- Mr. R. S. Kulkarni
- Mrs. Bhide
- Mrs. Shubhangi Potnis
- KPIT interns
- Team of volunteers from Barclays Bank
- Mr. Padmakar Khare
- Mr. Sharad Sathe
- Mrs. Surekh Vanarse
- Ms. Sudha Sharma, Ms. Girija Venkatraman, Ms. Disha Barve, Ms. Vimal Patil
- Mr. Shirish Kulkarni
- Mr. Govind Jangale
- Mr. Kedar Nirali Mr. Sharad Piyush
(A monthly newsletter published by Dr. Neelima Desai and edited by Kanaka Cadambi on behalf of Navkshitij)