Nishtha’s Students sponsorship program has been running since 2012. Every year at the end of their session the students like to go on an outing together. Usually this is a simple one or two day programme, but this year with the help of Exodus Adventure Travel we were able to go on a much more exciting trip up into the mountains to a valley called Barot. This place fulfills our hopes for somewhere quiet and remote yet with places of interest to see and learn about. On 15th April, 15 members including Madam Puja our English Teacher and Vijay Kumar as a senior member and care taker of group drove the 111 km distance along windy mountain roads singling and playing games such as we used to in our childhood all the way and enjoying the views of the mountains, still covered in snow and the valley rich with growing wheat.
Rather than camping we stayed in Heera Lal Guest house where the rooms are very neat and tidy and the food was delicious. In the evening, we visited Joginder Nagar Hydro Power project called Shanan power house which was the first major hydro electric power station in India. The following day we hiked 16 km to Bara Gawn passing many potato fields – Barot is also famous for its special quality potato which are prized as seeds in the lower areas. After a lunch time snack the boys walked a further 8 km up onto the ridge while the girls came back to the valley by road. It was an amazing day experiencing nature, the mountains, old wood houses, potato fields, deep valleys, devdhar trees, blossoms and beautiful waterfalls. In the evening we all danced and sang til we fell asleep. The following morning after a delicious breakfast of potato prantha, we set off home arriving tired but very happy and refreshed.
We would all like to say a very special thank you to the Nishtha donors and Exodus travel who made such a trip possible for us.