“I had started freelancing in the trekking industry in 2004. But, it was only six years later, in 2010, that I started working with Indiahikes. I started as a local guide on the Goechala trek and moved to the Sandakphu trek with them.
Trekking in this part of the country is different. There are no campsites to pitch your tents. Challenges are different.
So, it took time to establish smooth operations on the Sandakphu trek. I was actively involved with other Indiahikes team members to make it happen.
Finally, in 2012, we were able to set sustainable operations on the Sandakphu trek!
After that, my involvement with Indiahikes grew. In 2016, I started working full-time here.
Working with Indiahikes has brought an impactful shift in my life, the way I look at things.
I come from a small village and hadn’t been exposed to the world outside of it. Only when I started working with Indiahikes, I got to see the world outside of my village.
In my tenure so far, I got a chance to visit Arunachal Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and also Uttarakhand.
I learnt a lot about how we organise treks at Indiahikes. During the process, I interacted with many people from the trekking world. These interactions became my biggest source of knowledge.
All this made my journey a deep learning experience, right from the day I joined.
One other thing happened during the course — I developed deep care for the mountains.
Earlier in the village, we never considered garbage to be a problem in the mountains. It was only when Indiahikes came about did we realise the challenge behind it. Indiahikes addressed this challenge through the Green Trails initiative.
Green Trails awakened almost our entire village. People changed their lifestyles to a great extent because of this initiative.
Today I can say that working here pushed me to become a better person. I care a lot more about the mountains now.
I am really grateful that I found Indiahikes, or rather Indiahikes found me.”
- Buddha Daju, Indiahikes Team Member