BENGALURU : Eight-year-old Vihaan Katial starts feeling the Monday blues on Sunday evening. But the one gone by was different since Vihaan was excited to go to school in anticipation of a trek to Brahmagiri. “I love being with nature where I can see birds, flowers and mountains. We also cleared out the waste near the mountains which enhanced its beauty,” said the Delhi Public School, Bangalore North, student.
During the cleanliness drive, the kids collected two large sacks of waste. “We spotted plastic cups and bottles on the mountain. It’s not good for mother nature, we need to remove them,” he added. The objective of such treks organised at hills on city outskirts by India Hikes, a trek community, is to enhance the children’s mental, physical and spiritual development through experiential learning. “It is about developing closeness with nature at an early stage.
The cleanliness drive is a part of our programme, wherein every child was given an eco-bag that was tied on their waists. Once they come down, all the eco-bags are emptied into large sacks. Children should know how nature is being exploited by tourists, and how to become a responsible traveller. We also had discussions on reducing carbon footprint and plastic use. This has more impact than classroom sessions,” said Izzat Yaganagi, head, experiential learning programmes, India Hikes.
Though there are concerns over safety, new-age parents are supporting these activities. “Kids need to spend time in the outdoors to connect with nature. Along with observing the flora and fauna, kids also imbibe values of sharing and team spirit,” says Monica Katial, mother of Vihaan, and a resident of Hebbal.