Friday, July 27, 2012

Mr.Lavkumar Khachar: biography by Premal D.Shah






 Mr. Khachar, according to all who have been in touch with him has become an icon, an icon who heralded the era of Wildlife and nature adventuring in India, well before the World Wild Fund for nature had even thought of establishing it office in India. He has proved himself legandary by starting the wild-life movement in India by starting from the state of Gujarat, at that time ruled by some Royal family. An excerpt of Mr.Khachar's vision can be seen by his discussion below:

There has been a rather heated discussion of the lions on Face Book. All of us do tend to get rather heated up when we get into what really end up in being rather futile expressions of opinions. Now, let us make use of this marvelous medium of mass communication to get highly organised without which we shall just continue discussing things. I would like to urge all of you to start doing things that are within your control, your very personal environment. Very consciously start cultivating plants on land if you have any as a compound to your residence or have them in pots on balconies. Also see if you can influence your neighbors and plant and raise trees on the lane/s outside your residence. You will be amazed as how everything will get altered and how many birds will begin to start appearing. Everything aside, you will be creating a restful retreat for yourself and adding to the overall appreciation of what we all are crying ourselves hoarse abo...(Mr.Khachar on 7/27/2012 in response to a question)...

                           In the year 1980, there was no wild-life movement in India, nor were there any nature camps. None existed in the State of Gujarat, and if they existed, no one seemed to know it. I was told that to go for trekking in Manali, I should approach “Sadhana Bhavan” situated in Mt. Abu. When I went there, there was not a soul there and the only lady over there told us something so vague that we could not get any concrete information from her. I would look with envy at mountaineers in Mt.Abu who would be come there from the Youth Hostel  of India. But even with the youth hostel, they had no office as such. Once every summer, an advertisement would come in the newspaper stating that the YH was taking people into the Himalayas for trekking. But there was nothing concrete about their program till, in 1985, I heard about the nature movement in the Gir forest and in the hills of Manali being conducted by someone called “Khachar”.  People who had gone trekking in his camps would by word of mouth warn others to “beware of Khachar” as if he were going to whip them.  Later on would I learn that program offered by Mr.Khachar was like the “boot camp” for spoilt teenagers in the US. But in a spate of fifteen days, I  found out  that he would turn simple boys and girls into toughies, who in that cold were climbing different hills everyday and were doing  “river crossing” courses in the chilly Beas river.
      Mr. Lavkumar Khachar had started the wild-life movement firstly in the Gir forest and his base was “Sundarvan” located in Ahmedabad. Sundarvan was the first
In the pristine hills of Manali, just facing the Beas river and nestled by a beautiful waterfall is a cottage that stands out from the surrounding hills. This is where Mr.Khachar was conducting his camps in Manali from. This few acres around the cottage were apple orchards under which were pitched the tents  which would serve as “temporary homes” for kids and adults who came to Mr.Khachars camp. The tenure was a fifteen day one, after which, the participants would go back to their respective states and cities and a new batch of people would march in. At that time, it was very difficult to see the cabin and one had to scan very deeply in order to find his cottage, so much was it nestled in the shrubbery. Today, due to man-made hunger for money, the entire hill-site is covered by tar roads and motels. It is very difficult to find the cottage amidst all  these vagaries of man. 

2 comments:

  1. really great of u sir, i would be blessed if u deliver us with ur speech in tedx Gitam university, visakhapatnam, andhra pradesh.
    Raviteja soringala
    ravitejasoringala@gmail.com

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