Indian kayak trip

March 13, 2007

Vedharajan Balaji, director of OMCAR, wrote a letter to Paddling Instructor who posted a picture of the lady paddle float, which was picked up by On Kayaks and I saw (it’s like spaghetti).


This is him, from this newspaper article and the letter V.Balaji wrote to Paddling Instructor:

Yes, it has been in my dream to make an adventurous journey in the sea, after I saw the program of Justine’s kayak expedition in the east coast of Russia in National Geographic Channel (if you know her, say my hello).

In 2005, when I went for a mangrove conservation training program, I met Mr. Dominic from International Tree Foundation, UK. After my seminar on coastal conservation he was impressed and we had a few minutes chat – I told him I wish to make a kayak expedition, but i did not know how to ride it, roll it, its cost and I never seen before except in the TV. I was confident that the kayak will surely attract the people here as a tool to talk about the value of protective fragile, coastal ecosystems of tamil nadu (coral reefs, mangroves and sea grasses).

When I was in Germany in July 2006, I spend some time to rent a kayak in an enclosed bay at Baltic Sea and paddled it for a km myself – which was like a child walking first time.

Then, Dominic took a great effort in UK – he made a car rally with his friends from UK to France to collect money, I selected the sea kayak through websites and started to read the kayak lessons through internet.

Dominic (690 UK pounds +300 UK pounds) and I paid nearly 24,000 Indian rupees for Indian customs clearance. October – November 2006 is the training session and December 2006 the expedition start.

I am very grateful to Mr. Dominic and his friends, I have to be responsible to teach the children in the village on marine conservation, and paddle the kayak to next village – as a way to prove it.

Going to a village school today afternoon…

Yours truly,

What was interesting for me was the reach of media, its ability to change people the world over. I think someone who knows Justine Curgenven should say hello for Vedharajan Balaji.

You can read more about the work of OMCAR like the Mangrove Cleaning project and there is a downloadable pdf of the kayak expedition. 600km.

omcasr map

This the last line from the mangrove cleaning page which also includes a description of ‘ghost fishing’:

It may be a small work, which is unknown to each person who has thrown at least a water pocket inside mangroves but OMCAR volunteer team will clean those places, in every 6 months – when the outer world don’t know what is happening to a volunteer student’s hand while picking a broken bottles, inside dense bushes of fragile mangroves.


2 Responses to “Indian kayak trip”

  1. Wenley Says:

    Hello Kieran,

    Certainly, Mr. Balaji is couaregous. All the best, to him.
    Why don’t you just address this post to Justine. Maybe she will be just glad to send a few lines to him.

  2. Hey Wenley
    great picture of the lady paddle float by the way!

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