By Our Special Correspondent
Shillong: The book Caves for the Uninitiated, authored by Brian D Kharpran Daly, was on Monday released by Governor RS Mooshahary at the Don Bosco Youth Centre here.
Kharpran, a founding member of the Meghalaya Adventurers Association, has been exploring caves since 1992 and is credited with putting Meghalaya on the world map of caving.
In Meghalaya, Kharpran has mapped the twenty longest caves in the country.
In 2002, he was awarded the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award by the President of India for his work in discovering and documenting the caves of Meghalaya.
This extraordinary book is delivered as a work of fiction, but is based on the actual experiences of the author over the last 20 years.
It is a story about the adventures of a group of children who are guided by experienced and knowledgeable adults. These young boys and girls, after exploring a cave for the first time, become fascinated with the world of caves. Inspired and awed by the beauty and splendour of this mysterious underground realm, these young cavers spend several days with a pair of veteran caving experts. The seasoned pros share their knowledge of caves, cave conservation, and caving as a sport, and at the end of their training, several of the children decide to take up caving too, as a regular sporting hobby.
The book introduces the reader to the fauna of caves: mammals, insects and fish and their adaptation to their unique habitat. It is also a primer on the techniques and precautions of caving. Several local legends about caves are included in the last section.
In his address, the Governor talked about the uniqueness of Meghalaya’s biodiversity and the importance of conservation.
He spoke of caving as a huge tourism potential for Meghalaya, but cautioned against the despoliation of the caves by insensitive tourists.