ECO TRIP Planning a trip to some ecological hotspots? EcoLogin can help. JAYANTHI HARSHA
It all began in 2007 when Sridhar and his friends decided that they were tired of working for others and started a company of their own. But lack of funds put a stop to their plans. Since they were interested in ecological hotspots and often planned trips to such areas, they decided to put their knowledge to good use and take small groups of people to get in touch with nature. From this was born EcoLogin.
However the group of five dwindled and soon only Sridhar and Arul were left. They registered EcoLogin as a private company and began to plan trips for corporates, schools and colleges, apart from individuals, to places that are Nature’s hotspots, sometimes not easily accessible. In some special cases, they have facilitated visits to places of scientific importance such as ISRO and Kavalur observatory. They also include places of historic, religious, mythological and cultural importance.Currently, EcoLogin is being run as a start-up to test if there is a market for their services and also to see if there is a felt need. In the last six to eight months, their trials have been successful. Given the hugely positive response from individuals in both schools and colleges, EcoLogin is now looking to expand and reach out to larger number of individuals.
Sridhar, EcoLogin’s managing director, says “Obviously with the clients being highly dependent on the tour conductors, we have to be careful about whom we recruit. Hence there is a thorough screening process. We also hope to make a difference to school education with this initiative by exposing students from privileged backgrounds to the social realities that their peers in rural India face daily”.The staff at EcoLogin is armed with degrees from reputed institutes like IITs, IIMs, IISc, REC, College of Engineering, Guindy etc. And they are dedicated but also delicate enough to handle a child’s needs. As Maria Thomas, a staffer, says, “We know we are doing something different, we have a genuine passion for what we are doing. Our team is not motivated only by money but also by the social impact we are creating.”There is also the policy of giving back. Nearly 33 per cent of EcoLogin’s revenue goes to the remote local communities that help make their trips a success. This ensures that these communities are like partners and have a stake in the success of the trips.
Ecologin’s future plans are to start an interactive summer camp to help improve children’s skills and allow them to bring out their creative talents. Each child will be paired with a local child to explore the surroundings together and bring out an article, a photo album, an audio and a video programme. While the audio and video programme will be telecast in local radio and TV channels, the article, the photo album and cartoon strip will be published as a book.This programme is to take place over five days and will also have workshops on creative writing, photography, audio editing, video editing and dramatics. They will also visit various places such as wildlife sanctuaries, farm livelihood tour (different crops and practices), non-farm livelihood (fishing, weaving, pottery, brick kiln), cultural place (ancient monuments or museums). These activities will help the children learn more about how life in rural areas is like and will give a valuable learning experience, which is not possible in a normal classroom environment.
Jayanthi Harsha is studying in Std X at Headstart Learning Centre
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