Travel

Kodaikanal’s Plogging Party

“I have been doing this for two years. Only now, we have a name for it and it has become fashionable,” says 35-year-old Jacob Cherian, who is organising a weekend of ‘Plogging’ in one of the hills of Kodaikanal. Plogging has caught on ever since some Swedes made it fashionable to pick up trash as one jogged (‘Plocka Upp’ is Swedish for pick up).

 

When Cherian first got a small place he calls his own in Kodai, and set out for a walk, he was horrified to see the amount of strewn litter. “I was there for a week and I cleared four bags full of litter in just a one-kilometre radius. I then took the trash to town to drop it in a proper bin. I want the hills to be clean and so would anyone else.” He was dismayed to see trash up to six feet below the ground. “The worst kinds of trash are the chips packets and plastic bottles. We have such wonderful fruits available here as snacking options. It baffles me why people go for these big chips packets that have more air than anything else in them. They are unhealthy and expensive. The other menace is smashed booze bottles.”

Kodaikanal’s Plogging Party

When he first posted about his clean up act on Facebook, Cherian was surprised to find so many people interested. So he decided to make an event of it, titled Plogging Party. “It is an event for people who may be interested in camping outdoors, trekking, and picking up trash in the area. We will be cooking gourmet food,” he promises. “It is a family-friendly event and we are aiming to bring in young parents, as a priority. I have had good response and already 10 people have signed up.”

The trekkers will cover trails in and around Cherian’s and other private properties. “We have clear guidelines. All organic waste must be buried. Everything else has to be taken to town and disposed of responsibly. If you don’t see the point of doing that, please do not bother to register,” says Cherian, and adds, “People are not bad. It is just that when they see junk already lying around, they do not think twice about adding to it. On the other hand, if a place is pristine, people will usually not chuck things around.” Cherian hands out yoga drawstring bags with backstraps to his trekkers/joggers before they set off. “Nothing is more satisfying than returning with bags of garbage and taking them to a proper waste management system,” he declares.

The Party Scene: Registered trekkers will camp in Cherian’s property. The camping startup Camp Monk (is like an Airbnb for campsites) is supporting the event. The Plogging Party is kid and pet-friendly. The registration cost is ₹4,500 per head, if you bring your own tent and bedding. Or pay ₹6,500 per head where the tent and bedding are provided. There is no charge for kids under eight years of age. Those between eight and 14 will be charged only for food (₹2,000), unless they want their own tent.

When: Friday, March 30, 2018 to Sunday, April 1, 2018

Where: Misty Mountain Hop, 5/191, Adukkam Village, Kodaikanal

Contact: +91 8431641957

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 2:14:37 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/travel/pick-up-trash-jog-and-make-a-holiday-out-of-it/article23310554.ece

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