IIM Shillong – The Sustainability Trek – A One-Of-A-Kind Experience

One of the most memorable experiences of my time at IIM Shillong would be the Sustainability Trek we had at the beginning of the PGP Program. This was not just the highlight of the week-long foundation course that we had before our regular classes began but of the entirety of the time we have spent in the institute. Despite being exhausted from the recent exposure to the rigor of the PGP Program, everyone was eagerly looking forward to this trek and it showed during the entire duration of the trip. The journey started with a bus ride at around 5:30 AM. Some people chose to catch up on sleep while others were incessantly clicking pictures of the captivating beauty of the hills and the early morning fog while still others were up and about playing Antakshari on the bus.

The first stop, after a little more than an hour of travel and an intermediate tea break, was the Mawphlang Sacred Grove. We were divided into groups of around 20 people, and each group had a guide who told us of the tale of the Grove. It is spread across 76.88 hectares of land and was revered by the Lyngdoh Clan. The deity of the grove, Ryngkew-Basa, was the guardian of the grove. The deity appeared in the form of Leopards (good sign) to accompany the people in times of danger and Snakes (bad sign) to accost those who broke the law and tried to harm the grove. There are around 200 species of flora and fauna found in the grove. We were shown popcorn mushrooms, red mushrooms and a large variety of trees, some of which have great medicinal value, including treatment of breast cancer and lowering of cholesterol. The experience was something none of us had ever experienced before.

Next, we visited the Mawphlang Dam, which was constructed in 1997 and commissioned in 2003 with the motive of providing drinking water and electricity to Shillong. The dam is 50 m high, situated on the Umiew river. It boasts of one of the highest intake stations in the country for hydel electricity and is capable of producing 85 MW of electricity. The location is picturesque and was a great photo-op for everyone. The dam gates were open at the time and we could see the water gushing out with tremendous force. It was indeed a great experience.

After enjoying lunch in a beautiful setting with the Uniew river flowing just beside us, we finally began the much-anticipated trek at Lingyong. The trek was a tortuous one. At the start, it had steep climbs and the rain had made the route slippery. It was challenging but everyone was determined to overcome the challenge. After a point, the scenery completely changed and the entire setting was of green undulating landscapes that seemed to spread forever. The batch had a good time shooting pictures and videos and bonding, but we also realised how this region has been untouched by human intervention and has hence been able to remain green and clean. We realised places like these are scarce and that we need to do our best to preserves these gifts of nature. It was a perfect way to close out our foundation course on sustainability. We learned and experienced that nature has beautiful gifts in store for us and it is our responsibility to preserve them, so sustainable practices are thus the need of the day and we need to act before it is too late.

Aditya Birla Group

Coming to ABG, I would like to join the retail store enterprise – Madura Fashion and Lifestyle. The field of retail has always interested me and this is one of the strongest developing brand clothes corporations throughout the Indian subcontinent. I would like to work in the field of marketing and ABG would undoubtedly be the best place to start my career.


Ranu Rawat

PGP 2nd Year

IIM Shillong

IIM Shillong Placement Committee

Placement Committee of IIM Shillong