CATS trip for Bal Niketan
Summer breaks are really special for school students as there is no school to attend. Planning summer vacation with parents to visit grandparents or explore new hill stations is the added charm of the summer. However, with no parents to whisk them away for vacation and no relatives to visit, summer breaks bring in a sense of loneliness and abandonment to the children of a lesser God.
To break this cycle of gloom, we formed a partnership with another registered charity took out 27 children of Panchkula based orphanage Bal Niketan for an adventure trek to Kasauli today. Led by Supreet Dhiman (the Founder of CATS and Trustee of Can & Will Foundation) and Vipin Dewan (Trustee of Can & Will Foundation and BalNiketan), children were first treated to the world famous ‘Bun-Samosa’ in Kasauli Market, where children were introduced to the indo-british legacy of Kasauli. They were shown the TV tower and told about the production of rabbies medication in this small hill town. While author Khushwant Singh’s name evoked mild response, all eyes lit up when children were told Bollywood actor Rahul Bose also has a residence in Kasauli.
Thereafter the amazingly well behaved children were taken for a trek from the base itself to Monkey Point, where the temple priest shared the connection of Hanuman Ji from Ramayana with Kasauli. Another member of CATS, Vanita Dogar enthusiastically showed the flora and fauna of Kasauli hills to the children. Children trekked down using the Gilbert Trail while discussing their career aspirations with Supreet. As the group experienced sharp sunshine, heavy rain and fog in a single day, the older children explained the weather using geographical terms to the younger children.
Hotel Kasauli Castle hosted an elaborate lunch and organized a DJ for the children to dance their day away. While resting after lunch, Kunti studying arts in Class +1 said that she enjoyed her trekking with CATS as she learnt the benefits of keeping fit as well as some historic significance of this pretty hill station. Navjot finishing his Diploma in Architecture loved the drive in the hilly terrain, the challenge Monkey Point presented and the views from the vantage point. 9yrs old Munna studying in class 2 declared that it was the best outing for him during this vacation. 10yrs old Keshav studying in Class 4 is ready to go back to Kasauli next week again. Seeing the encouraging response of the children, Mr Dewan is already planning another activity to keep them productively occupied during the rest of the vacation
The success of this adventure filled trip confirms how easily good intentions can convert hopes into reality and add precious moments of joy in life.