The TSAF office at JRD Tata Sports Complex
Cooking knowledge will come in handy for those looking forward to the outdoor leadership programme conducted by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF).
The foundation has introduced the concept of self-cooking from this year. Participants of all its adventure camps will be required to carry stoves and utensils and prepare food for themselves as they trek to Surya Top (13,500ft) and Darwa Top (13,000ft). The menu suggested will be limited to simple rice, dal, vegetables and noodles.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Friday, TSAF chief Bachendri Pal said the main objective behind asking the participants to cook was to remove a “mental block” that most had towards preparing their own food.
“We have introduced self-cooking as an additional activity for our participants. It will enhance their progressive and activity skills and help them be better prepared for challenges ahead,” Pal said.
Self-cooking, she said, would be applicable during both the summer and winter leadership programmes.
Earlier, Pal added, the participants were served food by cooks at the base camp and also during treks.
“But now they will have to carry stoves and utensils, wash them, chop and dice vegetables and cook the same,” the ace climber said, adding that the participants would be provided burners at the new base camp in Kaflo, 5km from the Gangotri Highway.
“When our instructors can cook, why can’t the participants? It will be a value-addition for them,” she said.
TSAF secretary P.P. Kapadia said the participants would prepare food thrice a day — breakfast, lunch and dinner — with camps being put up at four different locations along the route.
The summer programme this year will start from February 9 and conclude on June 16, almost a month before its usual deadline in the last week of July as a precaution against natural calamity.
The foundation’s base camp at Rawada had been washed away by floods last year, prompting it to re-schedule its adventure calendar.
“To be honest, the floods jolted us into changing our programme dates. We do not want to risk the lives of over 800 participants, who have enrolled for the programme. Hence, we want to start and finish early this year,” Kapadia reasoned.
TSAF has been conducting the outdoor summer and winter programmes for the last 28 years. The dates had never been tinkered with, before this year.