Adventure gets a new address

Tata Steel Adventure Foundation's (TSAF) has found a new base camp in the Garhwal Himalayas for conducting its outdoor leadership programmes after the old camp was ravaged by floods.

The new camp at Kaflo, 5km from the Gangotri region towards Sangam Chatti, was identified after a six-month wait. Kaflo is the seventh base camp of TSAF ' the earlier ones were in Gyansu, Ganeshpur, Kanghori, Uttaraon, Rawada and Jangara.

"We are happy to finally find a new camp. Our earlier base camp was ravaged by floods last year. Since then we were on the lookout for a new address," Bachendri Pal, chief of TSAF, told The Telegraph.

The TSAF has entered into a 15-year lease agreement with the local village committee. "We are satisfied with the location. It is beside the Assi Ganga river and falls on the route of our trek to Darwa Top (13,500ft) and Surya Top (13,000ft)," Pal said.

One of TSAF's senior instructors has been deputed at Kaflo to set up facilities.

"Toilets are being constructed now. Since we have a long lease agreement, we are planning to set up various facilities, including a kitchen, store room, an audio-visual space and an instructors' room," she said.

For TSAF, that's getting ready for its outdoor camp beginning February 9, finalisation of the new base camp is a huge relief.

After the floods, the foundation had to accommodate participants at a temporary base camp, 5km away from Rawada, during its recently concluded winter programmes.

"Accommodating 50 participants at a time at temporary locations sans basic facilities was proving to be very problematic But, now we will overcome those hassles," said Rajendra Pal Singh, TSAF manager.

According to Pal, the base camp at Rawada was completely destroyed and there was no chance of setting it up again. "The new camp also has electricity supply. We have plans to set up most of the facilities before the start of our summer programmes," she concluded.

Wary after last year's floods, TSAF will be wrapping up its outdoor leadership programme early this summer. This year the programme will start on February 9 and conclude on June 16, almost a month before usual.

A sizeable number of employees, including women, from Tata Steel and its sister concerns, have already signed up for the summer programme.