17 June, 2021

He Kindles Wanderlust In Cocooned City Children

He Kindles Wanderlust In Cocooned City Children
As a child, Asok Sengupta often wandered in the forests adjoining his village home in Bankura, a backward West Bengal district. So, by the time he arrived in noisy Calcutta in the early '60s, he was already an avid nature lover. On his nine-to-five job as a draughtsman with a consultancy firm, Sengupta responded to the call of the wild whenever he got time: camping in forests, trekking in the Himalayas. "I had grown up with nature. So, I could never think of abandoning it," says he.

Such affinity with nature prompted Sengupta to launch Wanderlust, a nature camp for children, two years ago. He had originally started by getting a Calcutta mountaineering club to arrange nature treks for children 13 years ago. Six camps had followed in the next six years with groups of 20 to 50 children. "It's a great feeling to get children close to nature. Away from their sheltered lives in the city," he says. But the relationship with the club soured and Sengupta dropped out. In the next three years, he arranged annual nature camps for children with the help of another social service...

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