Theni forest fire: Trekkers have mixed reactions to the incident, some claim no approvals were taken 

The Chennai Trekking Club has organised numerous treks in the last few years and has been applauded for their other social activities as well. All that changed on Sunday
At least 65 trekkers were trapped in the Theni fire | Pic Credits: P Mahendran
At least 65 trekkers were trapped in the Theni fire | Pic Credits: P Mahendran

A day after the tragic Theni fire, there is a lot of talk about whether it is the Club's fault or the Forest department's fault- in fact, it is only after this incident that many people have even come to know that you need prior approval to trek in certain regions. 

There are people who are fiercely defensive of the Chennai Trekking Club's claiming that numerous such events had been organised in the past- "Not just treks, the Club also organises environment awareness campaigns, beach clean-ups, rescue efforts during the 2015 Chennai floods and many other events. All the hard work that they have put up in the last one decade is not completely overlooked because of this tragedy, which is a real shame," said one member.

Tweeple talk: Supporters took to Twitter to express their solidarity with Peter Van Geit, founder of Chennai Trekking Club

The group's founder, Peter Van Geit, is a well-known face in Chennai and someone who has spearheaded many such adventure sports in the city and outside. Many have come to his defense as well, claiming that it is unfair to paint someone like him as a villain in this whole incident. Some have also started the hashtag #IstandwithPeter in order to show solidarity. The Club was especially praised for its focus on getting a lot of women to take up trekking as well. 

Members have come forward to say that they have had some of the best moments of their lives while going on treks with the CTC Club saying that the best and most efficient steps were taken towards ensuring that they were safe during their expeditions. " Back in 2011, discovering Chennai Trekking Club was the best thing that I did that year. I was close to 40 and had never lived in the South. Through CTC, I began to explore to explore the majestic chains of mountains and streams and lakes here. Well-organized, detailed with seasoned trek heads. A group that you could easily fit into irrespective of your gender or age," said Bhavana Nissima in a Facebook post after the incident.

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