In the year 1997, it commenced as an expedition by Milind Madhusudan Kshirsagr – a Sports Teacher at Pune’s Loyola School, who took almost 1000 students to forts in 157 trails. Constituted as a Charitable Society as of now, ‘Shivaji Trail’ was started with an Objective of catering to various needs of forts in view of their preservation as well as sustenance of villages hosting those forts in view of their persistent upkeep, as identified from time to time. As it started getting organized, all Shivaji Trail initiatives started thto have eir own constitution.
The prime objective from which the journey of Shivaji Trail began was preservation of Forts. However as it progressed, different challenges emerged demanding various groundwork initiatives before actual preservation work could be carried out smoothly and efficiently. The needs identified included –
Awareness among general public and tourist visitors about the significance of the forts.
Care and concern for Villagers to win their confidence and seek their support.
Documentation of Forts for technical, geographical and geological details.
Developing a cadre of youngsters to carry out the tasks to achieve the
Environmental Conservation for Water, Soil, Flora and Fauna and
“It is better to SHOW the history to children than sermoning it, even better is letting them experience itthemselves. Visiting forts, staying with them by facing all the adversities and adjusting with the unfamiliar conditions to celebrate the moment develops competencies like Creativity, Communication, Collaboration and Character Qualities like Curiosity, Initiative, Persistence, Adaptability, Leadership and Social and Cultural Awareness… the personality traits that are hard to develop in a classroom! Once children get attached to the forts, it would be easier to channelize their energies towards the mission of fort conservation, preservation and restoration tasks. When they do it just like a domestic event,
it’s not just absolutely satisfying to witness their efforts but equally reassuring to make new plans…! ”
– Milind Kshirsagar (Founder).
Followed by ‘Durg Pooja’, ‘Project Saffron’ that facilitated mounting Flag post on the top of the fort. Installation of informative panels at Forts and Road Sign on the Fort routes proved quite helpful to the fort lovers and also helped to spread awareness about forts as the avid visitors took detour to visit forts on their casual outing as they learnt about it
13 Flag Post installation by Shivaji trail till 2015.
3 Flag Post Installation by other groups facilitated by Shivaji Trail.
Belonging to an ex-serviceman father who has served in Air Force of India, Milind has an intrinsic attachment with the defense forces and Shivaji Trail’s active collaboration with ‘SIRF’ – Soldiers’ Independent Rehabilitation Foundation’ for any of their undertaking is the expression of it. ‘Felicitation of Param Vir Chakra Awardees – All 3 Living Legends’, a unique and innovative event at Pune is one of the example of it and many more such events are on the cards for this creative collaboration.
Milind, being a Laureate of various awards for his remarkable contributions in the fields of physical education, sports, environmental preservation and social welfare; always believed that there is a need of outside the classroom activities for holistic personality development of children for which he devised an extraordinary initiative ‘History Club’. It includes various projects like
Learning MODI script – The Script Maratha History is majorly written in.
Exploring History, Geography – District, Region and State.
Significance of Conservation – Environment, Heritage, Culture
The Fort itself and its surrounding have a treasure of vegetation with Medicinal and otherwise exceptional properties as well as extraordinary species. ‘Vrukshvalli’ has an objective of documenting entire flora and fauna found in all those areas where Shivaji Trail would be conducting its restoration works and develop Nursery where the saplings of the plants and shrubs could be developed and a Biodiversity park where the species that are on the verge of being extinct could be rehabilitated.
Hundreds of specimen of unique plants are collected and sent for scientific analysis.
Before actual preservation, it needs to be planned and planning could happen only witfinest detail in view of effective restoration, optimum utilization of geological features and exploiting the geographical potential for Water Conservation and alike.
Documentation of Tikona, Ghangad and Malhargad is in progress.
h proper documentation. Shivaji Trail introduced ‘Vishvakarma’ to document the forts with all the technical, geological as well as geographical information to the
Every fort has a village surrounding its base and being tiny and remote, most of these villages lack even the basic medical facilities, let alone the diagnostics and critical care. To address this absolutely fundamental and undoubtedly essential service to the villagers, ‘Vaidyakiya Seva’ i.e. Health Care Initiative was conceived by arranging Medical Checkup Camp that would function like any typical OPD with an objective to identify any prevailing diseases in the vicinity and define the line of treatment.
7 such camps have been conducted till 2015 for different fort villages.