Adventure Tourism

Meet the 3-year-old young trekker of Kashmir!

The South Asian Voluntary Association of Environmentalists (SAVAE), a Kashmir based organization which focuses on environmental policy in South Asia, has concluded its drive of identifying and promoting the young environmental ambassadors. The underlying goal has been to bring focus and steer on campaigns to combat global warming and securing water conservation and sustainability in the politically volatile and ecologically fragile Kashmir region.

The youngest hiker in the drive was three-year-old Aizel from the business town of Sopore. She accompanied her father, Shafkat Masoodi, a veteran hiker. This baby hiker remained the main attraction of this week-long eco-campaign that concluded on 4th July 2019.

“We identified and tracked down these young and budding hikers to project them onto the centre stage and be the cheerleaders of critical environmental concerns that confront us all,” said Bilal Ahmad, Chairperson SAVAE. He vowed to continue with similar eco-awareness drives in Kashmir and the Himalayan region in South Asia.

The NGO organised a series of treks and community awareness sessions primarily undertaken by young trek enthusiasts in the hilly terrain of Kangan of the Ganderbal district in Kashmir. The event logistics were sponsored by a Bahrain based Eco-friendly IT company ‘Marvel Technology Services and Information Systems.’

“I read about this organization from an overseas web portal, and upon noticing the uniqueness of the event that roped in very young and pre-teen trek enthusiasts, we decided to offer our collaboration and logistical support aiming at the safety of all the young participants,” said Adil Ashai, the Director of Marvel Technology Services and Information Systems.

Senior environmental journalist, Athar Parvaiz, who was the guest of honor on the occasion, said: “We tend to ignore that it is our water resources like the wetlands, lakes and glaciers in our region that attract tourists to the state.” He added that it is quite shocking to note that our glaciers have been receding at an alarming rate as suggest by some latest scientific studies. “It is bound to put our state’s collective economic and ecological interests under strain”.

All the campaign participants were duly felicitated at the SAVAE headquarters in Srinagar by the overseas event sponsors. The baby girl Aizel was awarded for being the youngest trekker. Among other distinguished dignitaries present on the occasion were prominent Psychologist, Dr. Roshan Ara, renowned dietitian, Dr. Mudasir Hamid Baghal, and young budding green-chef, Arif Ashraf Bhat.