The Chennai Trekking Club (CTC) on Monday launched its Madurai edition, opening up a new avenue for trekking enthusiasts here.
Rukmini Thiagarajan, administrator of the Madurai Trekking Club, who posted the information on a social networking site, said that the club would organise trekking expeditions for interested persons, in the hills of the Western Ghats.
The Chennai Trekking Club is a voluntary organisation and membership is free and open to all, she added.
When asked whether there would be a separate trekking wing for women, Rukmini said in the initial stage, it would be common for both men and women.
“After evolving a core group, we will form a separate wing for women,” she said.
Rukmini expressed hope that the club would organise the first trekking in Madurai in the next 14 days after getting green signal from the Forest Department.
The Madurai Trekking Club was jointly started by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Madurai Tourism division, Green Walkers and CTC volunteers.
A Kathir Kamanathan, vice-chairman of CII, Madurai, said that the club would open up a new avenue for tourism in Madurai, which, at present, is confined only to temples.
Explaining the potential for trekking in Madurai, A Muthukrishnan, founder of Green Walkers, said trekking into the forests would also help citizens preserve biodiversity indirectly.
Recalling the people’s movement against establishing a sculpture city at Yanaimalai, Muthukrishnan said that the Madurai Trekking Club would help nature lovers and budding environmentalists not only to learn about new places, but also create an interest to preserve them.
Sharing his experience of organising trekking expeditions in Chennai, Rajanna, a dentist and CTC volunteer, said it helped evolve team spirit among the participants.
When asked about the environmental pollution which trekking can cause, he said volunteers of The Chennai Trekking Club made sure that they did not dispose of any plastics at their places of visits.
Rajanna also said that the trekking expeditions they organised were inexpensive. For a one-day trek, he said they collected only `300 and that participants would have to bring their own vehicles.
“If it’s a two-day trek, it would come to around `700 per head, including food expenses,” he added.