The three young men from Assam has travelled a distance of 400 km, from the world’s largest river island of Majuli to its smallest, Umananda, on the Brahmaputra in Assam in a small 25 feet long self-made raft of bamboo and elephant grass named ‘Sibuk’. The trip has begun on September 30, 2020 came to an end on October 7, 2020 at Umananda, the halting point at the middle of the Brahmaputra flowing through Guwahati. The journey was an attempt to create awareness about the need for environmental conservation and sustainable development. With Padma Shree Jadav Penang, the forest man of India flagged off their Journey. The trio wants to take more expedition as a part to create awareness about conservation of Nature.
A study in 2018 by the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing, predicts a loss of 9,007.14 sq.km of forest area in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh by 2028, a ten year span. Talking about preparation, it started three weeks before the schedule. The initial budget devised is Rs. One Lakh, due to sponsorship and well-wishers the trio spend only INR 45000. The Inland Water Transport (IWT) department was informed about the expedition and got acknowledged. Above all, ferries, bigger vessels and other commercial activities needs permission rather it is a activity by a smaller group in their personal capacity. The trio comprise of Shekhar Bordoloi, 26, Rishan Doley, 30, and Nayan Bordoloi, 27. Shekar met Doley in a mountaineering course at the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure and Eco Tourism in Sikkim in 2018 and both shared a common idea of doing something adventurous. Due to some other work, their plan was made a halt. The corona pandemic aroused it again in June and Nayan joins the duo onboard.
Trio carried a small cylinder, a stove, provisions for 8 days, a mini generator to charge phones and other devices, oil lamp. Rafting starts 07:30 AM and ends by 04:30- 05:00 PM. Shekar said fishing on the way was a great fun. He added we decided not to take a local guide and to stick to the river’s main course depending on our instincts and prior knowledge about the river. Shekar has a prior rafting experience. He was a part of 11 day rafting expedition from Sadiya to Guwahati in 2015, conducted by members of the Assam Mountaineering Association. “But a lot of people especially took interest in our expedition this time and wanted to know more about it. This proved to be an opportunity for us to tell them about the need for conservation, to take an interest in water sports and how it can also be an employment opportunity,” says Shekhar enthusiastically.