The 38-year-old K Dhanya Sanal, a spokesperson for the Union Ministry of Defence here, has become the first woman, who is trekking to Agasthyarkoodam peak, after the Kerala High Court lifted the ban on women's trekking on December 9 last year.
In an exclusive interview to ANI, Sanal, while trekking to the Agasthyarkoodam, said that she would follow the instructions given by the state's Forest Department and would avoid going into the prohibited areas where the tribal people are residing.
"I will take the pathway and will not go into the prohibited areas and hurt the sentiments of the locals," she told ANI.
According to media reports, this peak was banned for the women trekkers as for the Kani tribal people the hilltop is the final resting place of the sage Agasthya, who holds similar importance as Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala temple.
Kani tribal people contend that if the women trekkers are allowed to climb the hill top, it will violate their religious beliefs and customs. Unhappy with the HC order, the Kani tribe, which lives in the foothills of Agasthyarkoodam, is also holding protests at the base camp in Bonacaud.
The "unofficial ban" was lifted by the Kerala High Court on December 9 last year after hearing a petition jointly filed by three NGOs, namely, Pennoruma, Kannur; Women Integration and Growth Through Sports, Malappuram; and Anweshi Women's Counselling Centre, Kozhikode), seeking the lifting of ban on women's trekking to the hilltop.
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