YFS had organized a van yatra for volunteers from all chapters during the last weekend of December. A total of 25 volunteers participated – 11 from Bangalore, 12 from Hyderabad and 3 from Chennai. The team spent a weekend with the Chenchus Tribe in Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh.
Pushpa Preeya, a volunteer from Bangalore, shares her experience:
We really enjoyed this trip and have no complaints… the team members have been very friendly and professional and we had a great time. Amazing Trip!!!! The van yatra from Bangalore started with 11 members; we were in a dilemma unsure how we will reach the place since APSRTC had cancelled services. Finally, we all landed up at Shantinagar Bus station with Normal bus to reach Kurnool. Somehow we reached early morning at around 6:00AM.
Our driver Madhu picked all of us and dropped to the Hostel where our friends from Chennai – Dinesh, Tamil and Padma Priya were waiting for us. We were fighting for hot water, finally landed up with cold water! After that we visited the Saibaba temple and had our breakfast and Hyderabad team joined us at the hotel and from there we left to Seva Bharathi And we had our lunch and left for the Trekking of 5km to reach the CHENCHUS Tribe.
We started with the team members if we could name them all! Our young couple Mr. Sham and Mrs. Kantha, young and energetic couple Shobhit and his wife, high power Pushpa and silent Chitra, power volt Smrthi, captain of the ship Pradeep Gowda, active Gazal, good hearted Murgendra, singer Anurag, soft Priya, counseling Tamil, friendly Dinesh, route guider Adithya, smooth Jagadish, honey bit Padma Priya photographer Jesse and so on sorry if we have missed anyone’s name here. We lost our way while trekking and finally reached the place and fell on the big mat and decided to stay in the village that night. The campfire was really nice. The team of girls headed to Kitchen in the house of tribe Surya, Pushpa, Padma Priya prepared dinner along with the tribe women’s at THE house. Before that, tea was served to all the members.
We have to speak about Mr. Suresh who works for the better life of the tribe and keen interest to bring the tribe to the main stream of civilization by training Chenchus with skills they are good at. He wants to raise the voice which reaches government & Corporate who can help in making the children’s life better. He wants to teach Archery to the children. The equipments and Air guns for practicing would approx. cost ₹1,50,000. Also there is one teacher who teaches Yoga for children who is also Chenchu. And finally we all had dinner after that we all started with the entertainment. Tamil & Smrithi danced to DUM DADI DUM and tribal team also joined us. Few team members were chatting whole night without sleeping. Waking up in the early morning and freshening up in the open air. We had yummy breakfast Lime rice. Some of us headed for boating and few of them jumped into the water and had a good swim. And finally we all jumped into the boat with wet dress and enjoyed the experience and headed to Seva Bharathi to freshen up and packed our luggage and boarded the cab.
Friends can be a source of great comfort and joy in your life. We really enjoyed this trip. The memories of our time with Tribe in Kurnool will be treasured forever. Thanks you so much for making this such a success! It was very nice as well it is large members with fantastic views. We are all very impressed with the hospitality shown by the Tribe members on 27thDec 2013. We visited the tribal villages that are within walking distance from the Seva Bharathi. We watched and understood local agriculture and forest use (the women & men collect roots, leaves, branches, fruits, spices, wild bamboo, etc.) Trying local food and hearing stories about aid provided by government, marriage habits and their life stories. Our best experience was a couple of days stay in a village, which allowed all to experience fascinating tribal daily life. In a world in which tribe village life is rapidly disappearing only to be replace by a Disneyfied version the only best part is that the small amount you spend really does help support the Tribe members who extend their generosity and culture to you.