Trekkers come together to avoid future fatalities

Trekkers come together to avoid future fatalities

Techies death an eye-opener for most hiking outfits in State

The death of 23-year-old Satwik Shastry, who went missing in Bannerghatta National Park and was trampled to death by an elephant, has come as an eye-opener for amateur trekkers. 

Professional trekkers in the State have come together to form an association to avoid similar incidents in the future. 

Kavitha Reddy, Founder of BASECAMP Adventures Pvt Ltd, an integrated outbound training and adventure travel organisation, said that she and other outdoor professionals will organise a forum to help future hikers avoid tangles with wild animals, such as those previously recorded at Bannerghatta and the Kabbinale Reserve Forest near Sakleshpur. 

“We are in talks with many professionals from registered organisations who are into trekking and other adventure activities. The forum will be launched soon,” she said. According to Kavitha, there is nothing wrong in exploring nature. 

“The question is exploring at what cost,” she said. “You should be alive for the next adventure.” 

Bad message

Incidents like animal attacks and drownings in forest areas send a bad message about adventure tourism industry, she added. V Lakshminarayana of Backpackers adventure organisation said 50 per cent of the incidents such as the Shastry case, happen because of human error. “Many trekkers tend to jump into water whenever they see a water body in the forest. Similarly, they don’t know how to behave or escape from danger when confronted by wild animals,” he said.

While Lakshminarayana admitted that an association was a good idea, he did advise outdoor professionals to be cautious while forming the organisation. He also recommended that the government regulate such associations as the term ‘professional’ in trekking is relative. “There should be somebody to gauge the professionalism of these organisations who are coming together,” he said. Parashuram K, a trekker with 25 years of experience, said that as part of the activities of the association, a training camp should be held for amateur trekkers and others interested in adventure tourism. 

Policy measures

“We also plan to propose to the State government to introduce policy measures as have been adopted by Uttarakand and Jammu and Kashmir where only licensed agencies are allowed to take people for trekking and other adventure sports,” he said.

A rough estimate reveals that there are currently some 300 organisations in the State involved in adventure tourism. Only 100 to 120 of these organisations are registered. 

Trekking gears

Necessary things before 
entering the wild:

* Water bottle
* Torch, knife

* Minimum food like biscuits to survive atleast for a day if you are lost

* First-aid kit

* Compass

* Local area map

* One set of dry clothing or a blanket

Satwik cremated

Satwik Shastry, a software engineer, who went missing on a trek in Bannerghatta Reserve Forest Area on Saturday and was found dead on Monday aftern­o­on, was cremated at the Wilson Garden electric crematorium on Tuesday afternoon. Satwik’s body was found during combing operations on Monday. He was reportedly killed in a tusker attack. 

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