ADVENTUROUS members of the Chennai Trekking Club and about thirty clients and volunteers of the Banyan left early Saturday for the wild to explore the Nagalapuram Hills in Andhra Pradesh. The day began roughly as the bus got stuck on the road; the eager trekkers nevertheless moved on zealously. With their bag packs, they walked in the sun until they reached the nearby village of NG Nagar and began trekking up the hill.
For most of the women residing at the Banyan, an organisation that rescues and rehabilitates homeless women with mental health problems, this was a rare chance to get out of the city and unwind. With the help of the experts from the Chennai Trekking Club, they climbed the rocky path across the mountain and crossed streams of water to finally reach a hidden river where the team spent the afternoon chilling under the shades.
Sonia, who lives in the transit home of Adaikalam at the Banyan, was the first woman in the group who dared to jump into the stream.
Though naturally a timid, quiet woman, her high spirits soon had other women following her into the water. For many of these women, like Muthulakshmi from the Banyan’s Day Care Centre, it was their first trekking expedition. Muthulakshmi ended up being one of the most intrepid trekkers of the lot.
The Chennai Trekkers Club financed the trip to this destination about two hours away from Chennai.
Every weekend, the club organises adventure treks all over South India and creates new trails to even unexplored jungles and mountains.
They also run ‚Treks for a Social Cause‘ where they fund treks for clients of charitable organisations in Chennai. As part of the initiative, The Chennai Trekkers Club gave a good break to the Banyan residents from their routine, through this little expedition.
“Trekking is our passion,” said Karthick Ramalingam, one of the organisers. “We did this to make a difference in their lives.”