Tunga Trekkers

Where adventure meets nature

Author: bhushanrgk (page 1 of 3)

Once upon a time there was Aarey

A short poem and my two cents dedicated to Aarey Milk Colony

A lush green lung of Mumbai, 3100 acres of it providing food, shelter and oxygen to one and all

The birds chirping, squirrels fighting, herons fishing, leopards hunting and deers grazing

Protecting the precious water stores of Vihar and Tulsi, the lifeline of Mumbai

All a part of Borivali National Park, a protected relm, where the great spotted cat ruled

A home to a surprising variety of flora and fauna, including some hidden gems

The trap door tarantula, the fungoid frog, the spotted owl, the moon moth, the forest spotted gecko

Many more remain undiscovered, waiting for our next generations to uncover

Once upon a time there was Aarey!

Environment vs Development, humans vs animals – this battle has been going on for ages, which has especially intensified in the last 100 years as cities become mega cities, villages become towns and so on.

The demands of humans on land is ever increasing and in a country like India with a population of 1.25 billion, the pressure is even more evident everywhere.

Lets take the example of Gurgaon or Gurugram. This extension of our capital New Delhi is located on the north eastern end of the Great Aravalli Range. The plush, modern Gurugram malls and offices are constructed by destroying these historic mountains. The Aravalli range is the oldest mountain range dating back to times when the Indian Plate was separated from the Eurasian Plate by an ocean.

This great mountain range once created rains by blocking the southwest monsoon clouds thus helping the raise ground water levels. But slowly and steadily successive governments freely allowed construction on and near the range and now they stand barren and broken!

The same is the case with our very own Borivali National Park. Once the park extended right till Powai and the Powai Lake was within the precincts of the park. Now this part is a plush Hiranandani Estate!

With pressure on the park increasing, we can see residential buildings right inside the park both on western side near Borivali and Malad and on eastern side of Mulund and Thane.

The fact that a part of the park itself was given to Aarey is an issue. There are so many other small pieces of land given away eg the Film City, Royal Palms, veterinary college, modern bakery, the list is never ending!

From my point of view, the question is not about Metro 3 or 4, it is about the total green cover and biodiversity in Mumbai (and in the world in general). The authorities does not understand the difference between a forest and tree cover. By compensating the felled trees somewhere else does not create Biodiversity! A forest or a jungle sustains a variety of biodiversity which takes years to build up!

A city like Mumbai is lucky to have a wildlife rich national park within its city limits and its one of a kind in the world. The forest protects the two lakes from where we get water. With increasing demand on land, one day there will be no forest! This is happening everywhere in the world. If the forest goes away, how will the water be collected in the lakes? How are we going to replenish the lakes and from where will we find water to supply to Mumbai!

As city planners, we need to think 100 to 200 years ahead and plan for roads, water, housing, garbage and other civic amenities for the citizens! Are we thinking deep enough, are we headed towards Day Zero (water) even in Mumbai? What will happen if the southwest monsoon fails!

With the current approach, we are surely headed towards Day Zero for Amchi Mumbai!

Mission Education

We humans have three basic necessities i.e. food, clothing and shelter but along with that education also has become one of the basic needs for survival. To fulfil this fourth need, government  of different countries made various schemes and programs, people from all over the world lead many movements to get this basic right of education. In our country too efforts were put in by our government after independence.

All the schemes and programs by government mainly reached and benefitted the cities and but failed to reach the interior rural areas of our country. Today in the 21st century, there are still kids who are passionate to go to schools and study. For their passion these kids go to schools which are far away from their houses. Now-a-days we have schools in remote areas and teachers who are willing to travel there and teach but they don’t have adequate teaching aids.

We at Tunga Trekkers noticed this while trekking in the mountains and villages and decided we should do something about it. From past 10 years Tunga Trekkers are trying to help these kids to fulfil this basic need of education. This year we have decide to do this same project by the name called ‘Mission Education’.

First stage of this project was done in 8 ZDP schools from different tribal areas ( Adivasi padas ) in Akole Taluka in Ahmadnagar district on 13th and 14th July.

Under this project we provide school bags in seven ZDP schools of Jambhalewadi, Lavhali, Mutkhel, Ambit, Kumdhet, Mhalungi and Umbarwadi. In each school bag we included set of notebooks (100 & 200 pages), drawing book, pouch with necessary material for writing and writing pad. 

These were only seven schools, but more needs to be done. There are many kids who are passionate about studying but because of lack of necessary material they are not able to study properly. To make these kids life happier by helping them to fulfil their right of education, please do contact us. 

 Following are the people who helped us in our Mission Education

  • Parijat Organisation (Mumbai), who provided school bags and others necessary material to the 2 schools. (Gurudas Bate, Swapnil Pathre and Harshad Thakare)
  • Anand Kharge, Chinmay Patankar and Dainik Loksabha
  • Gadkot – Dhyas Sanvardhanacha. They helped us to transport all material from Mumbai to all respective schools.
  • Ravi Thombade and Vijaya Parashar – from the beginning both of them helped us in planning and then in the execution.
  • Bhaskar Badal – This person worked as our navigator, who was with us throughout the day and because of whom our journey became easier.
  • Tekrival trust Mumbai – this Organisation is helping Tunga Trekkers for past 2 years in the form of providing school material.
  • All the members of Tunga Trekkers who were present for these field trips and who were not present but helped us planning whole project.
  • Last but not the least our all donors.

Thank you so much all of you for doing your part in this project. This is just the start; we have a long way to go. We expect all of you to support us in our future journey of Mission Education. Thank you!

Team Tunga Trekkers

Last but not the least, we leave you with this breathtaking image of one of the schools we visited, high in the mountains, clothed in clouds and surrounded by greenery!

Mountaineering safety workshop – 2019

On 2nd and 3rd February 2019 Tunga Trekkers conducted Mountaineering safety workshop at Mahuli with the help of two organizations namely, Durgasakha and Durgaveer.

Durgveer works for the renovation of forts, (Gad-saunvardhan) where they clean up the spaces and old construction on forts like wells, water tanks, temples etc. One of the Durgveer members said, ‘Earlier while doing this work, they never used to think of the safety, but now eventually they  have realized importance of the safety and for that purpose they have helped us to organize this workshop.

On 2nd February Saturday, we discusses about basics of Mountaineering safety and why it’s important. Theory was done on the first day and next day we started field training. In this training Vivek Patil gave basic information about all equipment and introduced everyone to different knots of rope which are required to climb and rappel on the mountain. All the 30 members actually climb and rappelled on the wall, this task was possible because of the efforts of Sneha Katkar, Dinesh Keluskar and Rony Almedia.

The responsibility for arranging breakfast and lunch for this camp was given to ladies of self-help group. With this we tried to maintain our basic principle of social commitment.

This workshop ended on happy note. For this workshop all the participants had contributed Rs.500/- each. Out of this an amount of Rs.6000/- was remaining, so with everyone’s agreement this was donated to organization in Beed called Sevashram.

This NGO was founded by Suresh Rajhans, inspired by work of Shantiwan, Beed. It is located at Brahmnath Yelamb, Beed road. It is a home for children of Tamasha artists and destitute workers of Maharastra. The children who are deprived of education and forced to wander with their families; find a secured home and digitally equipped school at Sevashram.

Social awakening needs to be done through tourism and trekking and Tunga Trekkers always try to work towards this principle.

Dilwali Diwali 2018 – Khairchicholi

Tunga Trekkers has been celebrating Diwali each year at remote tribal locations with the aim of bringing happiness to their lives even though its short lived. Slowly but steadily we are trying to move towards more sustainable way of bringing a change in their lives thereby giving them a chance to live a better life especially for their next generation.

Under the Dilwali Diwali 2018 program Tunga Trekkers also visited tribal village called Khairchicholi In Igatpuri District. In this village we have installed Solar panel, 100 WATS inverter, storage battery of 42 AH and also arranged 32 inches TV screen along with accessories like cables switches, boards etc.

We have arranged all the equipment under the guidance of Shreyas, Mrugendra and Mr. Vinayak kamat. After everything was installed we have played some educational videos on TV. This was the first time the villagers were watching a TV. It was really good to see surprised smiles on their faces. We also distributed food and sweets (Faral) to people from almost 30-40 houses in this village.

Next Day Mr. Shyam, the school teacher in that village called us to inform that the students were really happy and excited to learn new things through this new medium. We were glad to hear this and considered a job well done. In a country where basic education is hard to come by, we were proud to provide them with alternate source of education. We plan to provide used computers to this village soon.

Any corporate who can spare used computers, please contact us.

As a part of this program, we had requested the core members of Tunga Trekkers to get contributions from friends and family. It was really heartening that we were able to raise about Rs.70,000/-. We thank all our contributors and well wishers as well as those involved in the installation and setup of Solar panels.

Dilwali Diwali 2018 -Dhamanwadi

Tunga Trekkers has been celebrating Diwali each year at remote tribal locations with the aim of bringing happiness to their lives even though its short lived. Slowly but steadily we are trying to move towards more sustainable way of bringing a change in their lives thereby giving them a chance to live a better life especially for their next generation.

2018’s Dilwali Diwali was celebrated in the village of DhamanwadiPatilwadi. This village is in Ahmadnagar District, Akole Taluka near Rajur at foothills of Shirpunje Bhairavgad.

Tribal people of this village never get to celebrate Diwali with their families. During this period they are always working in some farm. This year also they came back to their village after the first day of Diwali. In a city like Mumbai, the Diwali preparations start 2-3 weeks before the festival starts but villages like this, which are just 180 kilometers away from Mumbai cannot manage to be with their families on the day of festival.

Having visited such tribal villages during our trekking expeditions, we decided to bring some joy into their lives. On 18th November the program of Dilwali Diwali was organized by Tunga Trekkers together with the team of Gadkot. Under this program we have distributed basic useful things to tribal people and their children.

On the day around 120 women, 70 men and 70 children were present for this program. The program started with the beautiful song sung by tribal women. These songs were broadcasted by Akashvani. Introduction of program was done by Mrs. Vijaya. She works for the empowerment of tribal women in this area. Children greeted us with the bouquet made by them.

Mangesh Kurade   President of team Gadkot spoke about their organization and purpose of this program followed by Vivek Patil of Tunga Trekkers who spoke about tribal empowerment and in general how these tribal can reach out to us for help.

As a part of this year’s celebration, we have given around 220 good books to the children of ZDP school of Dhamanwan with the help of Marathi Desha foundation. We gifted one new computer set to the ZDP school of Ghodewasti and new projector to ZDP school of Patilwadi. We also distributed school related stationary like 2 notebooks, 2 pencils, 1 eraser, 1 sharpener and 1 box of sketch pens to each school going child who was present there. We gave sets of utensils to each family of these villages and around 150 Sarees to the women according to their preference (saha vari and nau vari).

Program ended with the vote of thanks done by Mrs. Vijaya and concluding speech done by Principal Zende sir. Villagers had arranged a delicious lunch for all of us, which included tasty local food.

This year with the regular participants of Tunga trekkers, Team Gadkot also participated in this program for which we are grateful to Mr. Mangesh Kurade and team. We also want to thank Marathi Desha foundation for providing such good books. These collaborations can lead to the building of strong activists for social movements. By organizing such program we definitely can help these people and bring little bit happiness in their lives.

Dilwali Diwali 2018 plan

Triangalwadi Fort Trek

We all like to wander; in today’s date every other person say that they have addiction of travelling, they want to travel a lot but not everyone travel with purpose. We Tunga trekkers always have some purpose behind our every trek. Our recent trek of Tringalawadi was arranged with purpose of helping people in these pada’s. This time we have decided to help them by distributing school kits in the school. One of the teachers in this school gave us feedback. Please do read that, and then you will know why we do this. Try to do something for others, you will feel good

Feedback –

Kids have started using the material you have given them.For the first time in their life, they had brought water in the water bag to the school, as well as they were eating from their tiffin which was a rare scene. This was all possible because of your support. We could see the happiness on children’s face when they got this school kit. I want to say thank you to all the members of Tunga trekkers from our students, school and our village. We are really great full to you all and hope that you will keep supporting us.

Situation in the Pada.

Sahyadri in the monsoon means heaven but if you want to enjoy This Sahyadri then you will have to avoid crowd and will have to go in deep parts of Sahyadri. That’s why we also went to the one village. (PADA) To reach this village we have to cross four springs. While crossing these springs if water level of these spring will be low then we will not get to enjoy but if water level is high then there is a risk, so water level should be perfect, so we can enjoy ourselves. Here we are thinking about our enjoyment but the life of villagers here is difficult. Water level of these springs in summer is low then they have to walk far so they can get water for their daily purpose and in monsoons when water level is high then their contact to outside world gets cut down. Here we can afford to go on trips, treks and there are this people who are surviving on rice cultivation, where they are not even getting enough returns from this occupation. Here in city future of our children is at certain extent is secured but in this village situation is really bad. If village people want to go to nearby main road or a main market they have to trek for at least 6 hours. This is the case of majority villages (Padas) in Maharashtra.

This situation is really depressing and most of the people are not doing anything about it by saying why should we care? We travel or go for trips to enjoy.

Special tip to all trekker friends-

All of you frequently go on treks in Sahyadri, basically you are active in this are because you are promoting your trekking organizations in in this area and by that you are also earning enough money. So for moment think about this and be grateful to the people in this area whose help all of you are taking for promoting your organizations. Try to return the favor of what Sahyadri and people living here have done to help you by doing something positive for them.


Efforts Towards Empowerment of Tribal People

In the Sayvan village, we started working in the surroundings of one lake which we got for 3 years on a contract basis. We have planted around 100 trees on the edge of the lake. We started giving scholarship to the students of 1 Rs. per day for each tree they will take care of. We have also constructed track and gym with the help of our tribal students. Now daily around 25 students practice there. Many of them got podium finish in most of the marathons. They also perform well in Mumbai Half Marathon and 3 students  were in top ten. We spend our money for fish buds, they sell that fish in the market to earn money. They get a cash prizes for winning the marathons. All these things helped them to become financially independent person.

Inspiration- Anandavan, Hemalakasa and Amte family



Tunga Trekkers : Gymnastic

We also work in the field of sport through our institute called ‘Om Samarth Bharat Vyayam Mandir’. We have started from traditional sport like kho-kho and now our many generations have excelled in the sports like karate, athletics, weightlifting, gymnastics etc.

We give the credit of this success to our non-profit management, it’s not easy to achieve such success in today’s world that to in sport like gymnastics, which is bit expensive n technical sport. Secret behind these achievements is our Ex-students, who have taken up responsibility of teaching respective sports without expecting in return.

From last 2-3 years we are getting the result of our hard work, our junior and sub-junior gymnast are winning individual as well as team medals at tournaments. Following are the pictures of podium finish at the district level competition.


Basic Mountaineering Technique Course: Rescue Operation Mock Drill

During BMTC Batch 3 discussions were made to make some positive changes in the syllabus. Accordingly, Prathamesh sir, Ajay sir and the team had taken the right steps. One part of this is the introduction of SAR (Search and Rescue). SAR is the search for and provision of aid to people who are in distress or imminent danger. The general field of Search and Rescue includes many specialty sub-fields, typically determined by the type of terrain the search is conducted over.

Basically trek is not only about fun and enjoyment; it also includes responsibility and presence of mind. As we all want that trekking should flourish in the Sahyadri but with that number of trekkers will increase and so the chances of causalities; Because of this as a responsible trekker one should know what should be done in such situations.

For this purpose we have made a plan to teach our team how exactly search and rescue should happen. This plan started with us getting a fake call that some causality happened in the mountain, so we started our operation, after 15 minutes of walking we have found a guy name Ajay, who was part of our team. From there onwards we treated this operation as a real life SAR operation; which included first aid, patient packaging, stretcher carrying. This operation got completed around 3am. After this for an hour we discussed about our mistakes during operation, SAR is basically a special topic,and technically very complicated. But due to this mock drill, the purpose of cylimoreto developthe temperament in trekkers tohelp the needy got success. So the lesson was respect your rescuer enough and be careful and prepared enough in the field.












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