Respect nature, taking this as a cue Naveen Mallesh (32) a

mountaineer and environmentalist has completed around 200 treks, guided 3000

people and collected 100 kg of trash from the hills of Western Ghats and Himalayas.

Responsible Trek- Respect

Nature and Conserve the hills

To promote responsible trekking, Naveen has

founded a startup TrekNomads- a community for

trekkers, travellers and nature enthusiasts in the year 2019. He said, “ One of

the foundations of trekking is to respect nature and therefore it is important

to inform people going on a trek that they should not be polluting the environment

or hills. Usually, people litter whenever they go for the trek, which results

in an excessive amount of trash collecting in our hills. With all our treks, at

TrekNomads,

we make sure to educate our team about it and

while coming back we bring all the trash with us, which we find on our way.

Till now, with more than 200 treks, a total of 100 kg of trash have been

brought by us from the Western Ghats and Himalayas.”

"As responsible

trekkers, we invariably carry bio-degradable products with us whenever we are

going for any trek so that we do not add any toxins there. The increasing

pollution in the hills remains a grave issue for concern and with responsible

trekking, we have to do our bit, therefore with each of our trek, we try to

create this awareness. People have to understand that while going on a trek,

you are entering into the tranquil world of nature's beauty, so respect it. It

is the responsibility of each of us to conserve the bio-diversity and make sure

our mountains are secured whenever we summit,” added Naveen.

Improving the socio-economic

conditions of locals

Apart from enhancing awareness about the responsible

trekking by conserving the environment, Naveen also

focuses on improving the socio-economic condition of the natives living in

these hills areas. He said, “Intending to improve the socio-economic conditions

of the locals, I ensure that with each of my trek I involve the locals of those

areas for their assistance. This gives them some amount of money, which can be

used for their livelihood. I also make sure that as a guide for my trekking

team, I communicate to my team about the contribution of these locals in

completing the trek, which gives them acknowledgement and additional income.”

Conserving Nature- Hand in

hand responsibility

Naveen also highlighted the importance of

conserving the environment is the responsibility of every citizen and not just

the administration. He said, “It is a hand in hand movement with citizens and government coming together to promote

the conservation of the environment. We can see that there is no control over

littering in hills and forest, however, it is teamwork and can be done only if

everyone comes together. Each of us should have a realization about the

importance of conserving the environment and be careful whenever you go into

the forest and hills.

Highlighting the encroachment and urbanization in the

forest areas as one of the key reasons for the increase of pollution in the

environment. He said, “There should be a restrictive rule from the administration,

and roads in the forest areas should not be allowed to get constructed. The

more urbanization ultimately affects the bio-diversity of these areas. When we

are hearing about the fire in the forest area such as the bush fire in

Australia, the administration needs to make strict rules for trekking in the

forest. It is critical that trekking in the forest should not be allowed after

February till the time monsoon arrives as the dried leaves in the forest can

cause a fire with human interferences. Therefore, the strict rule should be

established regarding trekking from the administration with proper control so

that these incidents can be avoided.”

With a mission to support and hand over the planet to

next-generation, Naveen Mallesh in the next cover story reveals his startup

plans to contribute in conserving bio-diversity of Western Ghats. Stay tuned………