When trekkers and school children cleaned the Deoria Tal trail

Over the months of March and April 2015, Indiahikes has been trying to do its bit to clean up the trail to Deoria Tal. Here’s a peek into what we have been doing. 

Indiahikes Green Trails Initiative at Deoria Tal

Deoria Tal trek
Trekkers walking with a sack of garbage they collected at Deoriatal

The trail to Deoria Tal, an endearing lake in Uttarakhand, has the best forests we have seen. The camp sites are picturesque, with peaks like Chaukhamba at a seemingly touching distance. “On the surface, the camp sites seem spotless too. There are dustbins installed here and there. But a small deviation from the camp site into the forests around showed us where all the garbage from the dust bins went,” says Sandhya UC, who went to Deoria Tal in the second week of April 2015.

Deoriatal is popular with campers and attracts large crowds. Unfortunately, people do not think twice before discarding their leftovers on the trail. “We found liquor bottles and packets of food strewn throughout the edges of the forest,” explains Sandhya. Considering the forest is vastly populated by exotic birds, this litter could be extremely hazardous to them.

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Trekkers from April 11th batch picking up garbage at Deoriatal

So, our trekkers pulled their socks up and picked up as much litter as they could, as part of Indiahikes’ Green Trails initiative. “We collected four big sacks of garbage over a month. There’s still a lot more work to be done. The Deoria Tal camp site itself has around 50 sacks worth garbage,” says Hemang Gala, who was the Trek Leader at Deoria Tal through March and April.

Along with Hemang, Rasesh, who is going to be the trek leader throughout May, has been speaking to the Panchayat heads at Sari, the base camp, to start clean-up initiatives in the village.

They also visited a school at Sari, Sarvadaan, which was built back in 1947, and spoke to the 35 students of the secondary school (6th to 8th standard). They taught them simple things like the geography of the Himalayas and the importance of keeping their village clean. “They learnt so quickly. They were like sponges. Most of the kids were well-informed about surrounding mountains and forests. They understood the importance of cleanliness and took a pledge to help keep it clean,” says Hemang.

Deoriatal trek
Little children from a school in Sari participate in clean-up initiatives organised by Indiahikes 

Indiahikes also organised a drawing competition with the theme ‘Clean Sari, Clean Himalayas,’ and saw little artists bloom with all their might.

Deoriatal trek
Children participated in a drawing competition with the theme ‘Clean Sari, Clean Himalayas’ 

This is just the beginning. Our vision is to clean up the entire slope so that there’s no more garbage left and no more garbage added on the Deoria Tal trail.

If you wish to know more about trekking to Deoriatal please read our trek documentation on Deoriatal-Chandrashila peak trek.  A beautiful trek review of Deoriatal-Chandrashila where Mukul Mhaskey finds ghost towns, leopard marks and mysterious lakes on this trail can also be read here


Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy is the Chief Editor at Indiahikes. She also runs a video series, Trek With Swathi. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates that mind like nothing else can.Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.