“I had chosen Civil Engineering purely because I did not want to see myself sitting inside four walls and working.
At that time, I didn’t know much about the outdoors. Yet, 2-3 years into my college life made me realise I was in the wrong place.
That’s when I started thinking about where my interest truly lies. I learnt about the armed forces. At the same time, I also learned about mountaineering.
I couldn’t quit college at that time because I had an education loan to pay off.
So right after college, I started working in Mumbai. I started saving up for my mountaineering course.
Meanwhile, I also got introduced to trekking in Sahayadris.
My source of information for these treks was the Indiahikes website. I used to take printouts of the documentation and go for these treks on my own, with a sleeping bag and a tent.
After I paid off my loan, I decided to leave my job and come back home. It came as a huge surprise to my family and it was my elder sister who supported me in this decision.
Nitesh on one of his mountain expeditions
Having developed such a deep fondness for Indiahikes during my DIY trekking days, all I had in mind was to apply to work as a Trek Leader there.
After understanding what the role of a Trek Leader requires, I thought of putting some effort from my side to gain some experience.
That’s when I started trekking from east to west in the Himalayas. I also did my Basic Mountaineering Course and Wilderness First Responder course.
In addition, I deliberately signed up for a trek with Indiahikes and one with another organization.
That experience strengthened my belief in working with Indiahikes. There was a stark difference in the way Indiahikes led their treks.
It took me 1.5 years to gain this experience and only AFTER this did I apply to work.
It’s been about three years of working with Indiahikes and I have totally changed as a person.
The way I lead my life, and interact with others around me or the environment has taken a 360-degree turn.
Working here is no more for a self-centric reason. The work I am doing is for the betterment of society.
We as an organization are ever-evolving and that has kept me motivated to work here with full involvement each and every day.
I have so much trust in the work we are doing here that I know whatever work I will be doing in the future, I will still be growing myself and adding value to society.”
- Nitesh Kumar, Outdoor Leader at Indiahikes