Rotary Club Midtown – Family Excursion to Kerala

Background Information

Vikram and Tarika are part of the prestigious Rotary Club of Pondicherry (RCP), known as RCP (Mid-Town). Keeping in tradition with upholding the values of teamwork and bonding with fellow Rotarians, Vikram floated the idea of organizing a trip with fellow club members and their families. Although bachelor tours were quite common in RCP (Mid-Town), going out with the families of Rotary members (42 in this case) would be a first.

Vikram initially proposed this idea during one of the weekly meetings of the Club, thus planting the seed conceptually. Fellow Rotarians were excited and concurred that this trip would be one of a kind. The difficult aspect was to agree on a destination that would be acceptable to all families. After brainstorming several potential destinations, the members agreed that they would visit a location that was eco-friendly and that promotes the cause of wildlife, in line with the Club’s objectives.

After long-drawn and detailed discussions, the members eventually selected Wayanad in northern Kerala. Wayanad, the least populous district of Kerala, is located near the southern tip of the Deccan Plateau and forms part of the famed Western Ghats mountain chain. Its dense forests replete with fauna and flora, together with undulating landscapes of tea, coffee and cardamom plantations make Wayanad truly a traveller’s paradise. Logistically, Wayanad was a good option too because there was a convenient train connection from Pondicherry.

Chetak’s Value Addition

Our task was to manage the entire trip; this entailed leading the discussions during Rotary meetings until a consensus was reached, negotiating with the various stakeholders involved and finally ensuring that quality service was provided throughout the trip. Meenmutty Heights, a charming resort, unique in its location and breathtaking landscape was finally chosen by the Rotary Committee to be the place of stay for this sojourn.

The directors’ younger son (who has a Master’s degree in Wildlife Biology) and his wife were living in Wayanad then. They inspected (incognito) Meenmutty Heights and performed a thorough recce of the surrounding areas fit for sightseeing. They went to the extent of eating at the resort (ensuring food quality), checking its policies regarding wildlife conservation and actually timing the journey from Kozhikode, the nearest train station, to the resort. In addition, they provided vital information on a nearby speedboat ride on the Banasura Lake, after personally testing the ride, its safety, and the availability of emergency medical services. At their end, the directors of Chetak went out of their way to discuss with the owners of the property to facilitate and tweak existing facilities to benefit the group.

Driven by a passion to make this event a grand success, Vikram and Tarika put an offer on the table that fellow Rotarians could not refuse! They ensured that every aspect of the trip was well organized and executed. All the hard work resulted in a maiden Rotary family tour that was a big success with the entire group. This was just the beginning of many more to come. This trip exemplified the Dolia hospitality where the directors and their family personally vet destinations and logistics before providing a proposal to the travelers.

Client Feedback

Super success! Families were thrilled at their first experience. Location, resort, food and the sightseeing were a delightful experience. Bonding within the larger Rotary family surpassed all expectations!

A start was made and so was a record; a group of 42 people travelling overnight by train and a chartered bus. Being together for four nights brought them closer and whetted their appetite for more such travel.