Edamalayar gives an opportunity to observe tribal life at close quarters.
Visiting Edamalayar was a different experience for the 22 urban students, who kicked off their journey from Kochi on January 21. Organised by UNI-Y, Ernakulam university students wing of YMCA, the camp at Pongan Chuvadu, Edamalayar, was conducted as part of their nature study project.
“Our stay was arranged at the community hall of an anganavadi there. The aim of the camp was to bring our new generation close to nature and to teach them about our eco system,” says Anto Joseph, camp director and associate secretary of YMCA. “This is not a typical tourism spot. The Edamalayar dam and the catchment area are inside the forest and to get a clear view of that, we took permission and went inside and stayed with the tribal community,” he adds.
It was an opportunity for students to observe tribal life at close quarters. “They visited the tribal houses and sat with them to learn about their culture and lifestyle. There were no shops or hospitals within the vicinity. They need to travel a lot for such facilities. They also explained to us how elephants destroy their cultivation. There is an elephant nicknamed as Tipper, who is quite dangerous,” explains Anto. “It is a beautiful and non-polluted place. Students even took bathe in cold water taken from wells,” he recalls.
The team also visited Vaishali caves, where the movie Vaishali was filmed. After spending one day there, they returned to Kochi on January 22.