Akansha Pandey | Delhi
It was way back in July this year when tour operator – Amit Jain, the Director of Delhi-based Rising Star Tours and Travels took his first group of 27 specially-abled individuals to Pangot, 15 kilometres ahead of Nainital in Uttarakhand and since then, there has been no stopping.
After getting back from this full of life maiden fun trip, he couldn’t help but plan the next in no time. Taking umpteen learnings from the first trip, he went on to curate his second tour for differently-abled to the soulful cities of Rishikesh, Shivpuri and Haridwar in Uttarakhand from December 7-9 recently.
With the support of 14 angel sponsors and eight in-house volunteers, Rising Star Tours and Travels organised a dream holiday for 31 visually-challenged individuals. A journey where they were treated equally, a trip on which these special people could experience adventure and let their hair down without being judged or instructed, it was certainly a “Dream Holiday” for these virgin travellers in the true sense.
“All their life, either these people have been neglected or have been treated over-protectively by the society and their own families. On this trip, they were treated at par with other people and not with sympathy. This was what they were looking out for. Now that I’m back I can say that it was a life-enriching experience not only for them but an eye-opener for us at well,” he stressed.
Rising Star worked day and night to scout for sponsors who happily contributed INR 6500 while the differently-abled travellers shelled out INR 2500 out of their pocket, to ensure commitment. Bonding over bonfire, DJ, trekking, camping, etc. these special people also utilised this travel opportunity to vent their hearts out and share their views on life and people. Listening to their viewpoints and stories, indeed made the others a better human being.
“We haven’t earned a single penny out of it, instead we had also pooled in whenever needed to make it a memorable affair for these passionate travellers. Our main objective was to make these people happy and make their long-cherished desire of travel come true with like-minded people and without being judged,” said Jain.
He feels that this being the second time for such a trip, their company and staff were well-prepared, after a number of recces and had a fair understanding of the travellers’ requirements. Even the travel and stay arrangements and the activities planned were more elaborate this time. The local MLA and Counsellor of Ashok Vihar, Delhi also ensured their presence in flagging off the coach of these adventurous travellers.
The dates for the next trip from March 1-3, 2019 are already out. Jain is planning to take about 65 specially-abled travellers and 15 volunteers from Rising Star.
If anyone from the travel trade wants to sponsor or conduct such tour themselves, Jain confirmed that they will be happy to help. “It’s a noble cause and a way to give back to the society. The more hands to help, the merrier. However, taking such a tour is a job of big responsibility. One needs to be well-prepared and do sufficient recces,” he stressed.