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SOS call for the Sahyadris

Mountaineering clubs and trekkers from all over Maharashtra will come together to find ways to preserve the Sahyadris, in a two-day summit, starting July 12

Over the last few years, there has been an increase in activities in the Sahyadris, mostly due to weekend picnickers. And while it has boosted employment opportunities, it has also presented challenges in terms of the preservation of this green belt. Keeping this in mind, Mulund will play host to a two-day summit, titled Girimitra (Friends of Mountains) Sammelan, where trekkers from all over Maharashtra will come together to find newer ways to increase the partnership between trekkers and forest officials.

The Sahyadris
The Sahyadris present a difficult task of conservation, hence the 13th Girimitra Sammelan hopes to mobilise the efforts through joint partnership between trekkers/mountaineers and the state Forest Department. Pic/Nimesh Dave

“Sahyadris is a huge region and the Maharashtra Forest Department has been working hard to preserve it despite
limited resources. At this summit, we hope to find newer ways to bring trekkers/mountaineers and forest officials together to work towards the preservation of the region,” says Hirshikesh Yadav, one of the organisers of the event. He adds that at present, there are 37 mountaineering clubs and organisations from all over the state who are working along with the Maharashtra Forest Department towards the preservation of 59 forts in the Sahyadris, including Rajmachi, Rangna in Kolhapur region and forts near Nashik area.

Hirshikesh Yadav
Hirshikesh Yadav

Currently in its 13th edition, the summit also aims to offer a platform to young as well as experienced mountaineers from the state to share their experiences with expeditions,  conservation and in creating awareness about the same. Hence, the summit, supported by the Maharashtra Seva Sangh, will also feature conservationists like Jadav Payang from Assam, who single-handedly created 550 hectares of forest in Assam, and Basant Singha Roy, who recently went on an expedition to the Makalu mountain range in the Himalayas. “The mountaineering fraternity in Maharashtra is very small, yet scattered.

There are lots of clubs out there who are doing magnificent work in terms of creating awareness about the environment. We want their stories to be told to the public, so that they understand the importance of preserving this green belt,” adds Yadav.

On: July 12, 5 pm to 9 pm; July 13, 9 am to 6 pm
At: Maharashtra Seva Sangh , near Apna Bazaar, Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Mulund (W). 
Entry: Rs 500; 
Log on to: www.girimitra.org

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