GUWAHATI: Four young men will cover 180 km in a bamboo raft from the Lower Subansiri to the Brahmaputra in a bid to create global consciousness on river tourism.
Beginning from Gogamukh on November 14, the eight-day-long expedition by Shekhar Bordoloi (26), Rishan Doley (30), cinematographer Ashutosh Kashyap, and artist Nilim Mahanta, will come to an end at Ganeshghat (Sonitpur district), their final halting point, is in the middle of the Brahmaputra.
“We will stay away from having man-prepared food or water this time. We will solely depend on natural food and water during the entire journey,” Rishan Doley said.
“We are trying to do something different, go on an adventure of our own. That is why we thought of a rafting expedition like this,” he said.“We build the raft ourselves, using bamboo and elephant grass,” he said.
But this wasn’t just an expedition for the four friends. Their journey was an attempt to raise awareness about the need for environmental conservation and sustainable development.
The four friends initially fixed on a budget of around Rs 4 lakh. But it is hard for them to start the journey with their own funds. They also looking for outside support.“We sent a letter to the tourism department, informing it about our expedition,” Doley said. The 10X12 ft raft was named Sibuk 2.0, “a Mising word describing a particular sound made by the river and spoken by the Mising community,” he explained.
Assam Education Minister Dr. Ranoj Pegu is likely to flag off the expedition on November 14. Not only was the raft self-made, the friends also decided to go without any local guide. “We tried to stick to the river’s main course and depended entirely on our instincts and prior knowledge about the river,” Rishan said.
This wasn’t his first river rodeo, so to speak. Rishan and Shekhar had started from Majuli on September 30, 2020, and ended their 8-day-long trip at Umananda, near Guwahati, on October 7. Rishan and Sekhar were also part of a 12-day rafting expedition from Sadiya to Guwahati in 2015, conducted by members of the Assam Mountaineering Association.
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