Wednesday 24 July 2013


Ishani Sathish (Gold aspirant), Coorg Public School, Karnataka, shares her experience

"Climb the mountains & get their new tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees, the winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of autumn."

Receiving the Silver Award of the IAYP programme was indeed a great moment for me and it inspired me to aspire for the prestigious Gold Award. My Gold Award journey began with an exciting and adventurous river rafting trip that provided a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the refreshing rapids of Hattihole River in North Kodagu. The 50 km journey by bus with other gold and silver aspirants was filled with excitement and the anticipation of savouring nature's rich bounty.

Initially, the instructors briefed us about the techniques of rafting and safety measures to be taken in times of emergency. Then we were divided into groups for the preliminary practice sessions that infused us with confidence. Well-equipped with skill and vigour, we boarded the rafts with life jackets on, to take on the delightful rapids this river had in store for us.
Each raft had a lifeguard who guided us through our journey on the river. It was a joyous experience for us as we felt nature's abundance in the river. Dotted with rocks, plants, thickets and trees, and surrounded by lush green coffee estates, the river provided a feast for our eyes. It was indeed a challenging task for us to row our rafts against the water currents while keeping at bay the hurdles that came our way. 

The most enthralling part was when we faced two rapids that tossed us up and down and we were showered with sprays of water. We experienced the joy to the core but at the same time had the presence of mind to stay intact on our raft. Unfortunately, at one point our raft got stuck under the branch of a tree. This was indeed a challenge for all of us but since we were mentally prepared for such situations we acted promptly. It was the combined efforts of my teammates and guidance of the lifeguard that saved us from danger. This incident made our rafting experience even more exciting and adventurous. Besides, it taught us a valuable lesson of life that one should not panic in the face of danger; instead use one's presence of mind to ease the situation. We also realized the strength in teamwork.

It was on the whole an awesome experience which unraveled the sensational beauty of nature and added to my store of knowledge gained through the various treks, nature camps and river rafting experiences I had in different places earlier. I must admit that each time I have gained a unique experience and it has deepened my respect for nature. True to the adage, "Nature is the window through which we see heaven" I experienced an exceptional sense of joy along with my companions and I firmly believe "The purpose of life is to live it, taste it, experience the utmost & reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences."

I am grateful to my school for organising such meaningful activities. I also thank IAYP Award leader Ms. Teena Machaiah for encouraging us to participate in such activities.

Ishani Sathish , II PUC Coorg Public School, Gonikoppal,Karnataka 

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