I have been trekking with few organizations including IH during past 2-3 years and I have seen so much of improvement with respect to the trek management. Organizations have evolved and matured over the period of time. However, in the decades of pacing up economies and transitions, there is always a room for better and quick decisions.
Coming onto the respected High Court of Uttarakhand order given on August 21st 2018 (Ref: TOI , Order) as they have imposed a ban on all Uttarakhand treks, I do see some points which aren’t giving justice to not one but many aspects around trekking in Uttarakhand.
- Obvious to understand that this ban is turning up to bring a massive economic and social welfare loss.
- Booking made prior to the ban will bring frustration and grief among avid trekkers looking at either cancellations or change of plans, it will impact people not only from within India but also keen foreign traveler’s.
- Trekking industry in India is doing enormously great, the maturity we have developed in recent years, wasn’t there 10 years before, specially Indian trekkers who seem extremely delighted and active. The ban might bring us back to the past 10 years stage.
- Looking from the trek management perspective, the platform itself isn’t as simple as any management company policy. To first draft all sorts of precautionary measures, beginning from a porter to the trekker and then turning it into a practicality with safe environment protocols is a big big deal. With due respect in abiding by the authority and government laws. The ban may shatter the lives of locals to a trekker’s and to organizational teams, years of efforts, lively hood and huge network may blur down in a jiffy. Who would like to see this happening? At least, I don’t.
- I have seen and have myself learned to clean up trails, a self discipline in a person works wonderfully in the growth of a small town/region/state/country. IndiaHikes and other organizations have been scaling clean up with a lot of initiatives like Green Trails around this. And now this would come to a hard stop !
- Something which shatters me as a trekker, are the least stringent measures taken on applying rules and protocols on travelling, adventure and treks. Responsible bodies must apply applicable LEAN methodologies and bring stringent measures. Bad part is at times nobody cares the other side.
- Some treks and just not simply treks, there are environmental and other scientific research around psychological aspects. Getting a fold on trekking will bring unimaginable research on mankind that teams up with nature will be broken. Even if it is for a short time.
- We see a huge loss for next 10 years by not modernizing and not investing in our only needed systems. When only we think about imposing a ban as one part solution, why not think about revamping in the best time efforts. Authorities must rise up all above this and it is good time to reinvest in thoughts in making better socio-culture meanings by adopting measures to drive trekking/camping by workflows and processes.
Deep from the heart I feel, we all as trekkers/trek organizations/locals/ responsible bodies/High Court/ must come together and bring a strong and stringent draft on adventure sports altogether. Do not let a piece be missing from it.
I’m sure we will see a better decision very soon in the interest of all of us who stand together in the interest of adventure sports and trekking.
Until Next Time, Stay Tuned !