Underscoring the long felt pulse of the people to leverage the “Unexplored Paradise” of Ukhrul district in Northeast India state of Manipur to its fullest, a group of ecotourism and environment conscious youth from diverse background mostly in their mid 20’s had formed a new adventure forum christened “CHIKO” meaning “NINE” in Tangkhul dialect, with an aim to maximise the largesse beautiful landscape, the lush green forest, and an eye catching mountain peaks adjoining the fresh streams and rivirine besides the wild flowers and orchids and hosts of other potential tourist hotspot that the region offers to the world which remain largely unexplored for varied reason partly due to limited knowledge and for the fear of militant infested region tag all thanks for their initiative, at least things will change for the better.
“We are ready to take around tourists of varied hue and color to this side of the region,” CHIKO members said and added that in the midst of unemployment at least this will provide a way forward as we incalculate a sense of business by investing while earning at the same time.
Wungmaso Rungsung (convenor), Lingsang Vashum (Secy), Somipei Tingphei (member), Singreingam Kharay, Chingmi Sachiri, Wungmaso LW, Shangcham Shangjam and Thingmasotmi Varu are the founder members of CHIKO.
Their main objective is to make a breakthrough in tourism by taking up many different roles in their capacity as a tourist guide, entertainer cum trainer and from hosting environment awareness camp to storehouse of ready made packages for tours and travel at affordable prices as a starting point.
Veronica, a tourist from Poland was introduce to the world of cycling by CHIKO for the first time in India at Ukhrul. The group had also act as tourist guide to the two professional photographers who visited Ukhrul earlier this year.
Lightson Chithung, Union Baptist Church Youth Pastor officially launched CHIKO at Community Cafe Viewland tang Ukhrul with a word of blessing and prayer.
Though in its nascent stage and a lot still need to be done, CHIKO in keeping with its mission theme “Explore With Us” has so far invested more than 4/ 5 lakhs from their own pocket sans taking any financial help from government and NGOs. And to its credit it has recently added 10 mountain bike, tents, sleeping beds etc for the purpose of mountaineering, trekking, organising environment camp and adventure sports, all these for the promotion of district tourism.
Recently it has undertaken a joint field trip with “Wilderness Manipur” to Taloi Reisang Youth Club “Reserve Forest” by cycle. It has also tied up with Manipur Mountaineering & Trekking and Manipur Tourism Forum.
Interestinglu during the launch of eco-tourism at Taloi village on July last, CHIKO participated as the first tourist. The same month it had also have a glimpse of mount “Hoyang Kachui” in Shinja village and 40 km from Ukhrul town.
Considering the ever growing importance of training in this challenging yet adventurous part of profession and given their initial take offs, two members from the group namely Wungmayo Rungsung, convener CHIKO and Somipei Tingpei (member) participated in the 15-day long training programe being organized by Manipur Mountaineering & Adventure, where Mr Somipei won the coveted Cross Country Race competition.
The group is also planning to chip in more money for purchasing necessary adventure kits and tools. Any interested persons can avail their services and sought other detailed information about the group at its temporary office, Community Cafe located in the heart of Ukhrul town.
Source: Imphal Free Press