Friday, December 21, 2012

GHAC - A Beautiful Idea

At GHAC the outdoor activities are always finding ways to involve everyone from the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad to participate.  From families to kids, youngsters and working professionals and not to forget the young at heart – we have something for everyone. The outdoor activities are meant to engage, educate and entertain all ages of different fitness levels.

Today, as we reached a major milestone of reaching 10,000 member mark on GHAC meetup.  I am happy and excited with this landmark achievement and it's so much fun to look back at the journey that created GHAC.  It was on the 27th May 2008 when I decided to put the idea of an adventure club online on to find friends to accompany me to Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal in June 2008. 

Putting up GHAC on meetup was just not enough as it involved a lot of selling and pursuing to get people join it and I had spent quite a time promoting it online and in person and among my friends.

It took almost one year of promotion, and then we had the first online 100 members. Then, I decided to do another trip to Everest Base Camp in June 2009.  To prepare our fitness for the EBC we started doing many local events and the first one was to Ananthagiri hills Vikarabad. Then we did couple of more local events at various places in the city including Maulali, Ammuguda, Durgam Cheruvu, Shamirpet, Bhongir Fort, Narsapur Forest and more members started joining us.

First GHAC Ananthagiri Hike

First GHAC Maulali Hike - April 2009

First Hike at Ammuguda - April 2009

Snapshot of ghac meetup site Dec 2009

I needed more helping hands and started speaking to members to assist me in running the club. In September 2009, I formed a Executive Committee with my learnings from Toastmasters. We had the first meeting on 06 Sep 2009 at Hotel Kshetra

Once the committee was formed, we met regularly to discuss and brainstorm on taking the club to the next level. We also continued hosting more events including doing more outstation events.

There were many enthusiastic members ready to take up organizer leadership roles and it was time to train them in the various aspects of safely organsing adventure events. We came up with the Outdoor leadership workshop and the first one was conducted at Shamirpet under a tree and among the rocks

As I write about the wonderful journey,  I feel nostalgic and I am very sure some of you who were there with me from the start will feel the same. After the first two years, the membership doubled every year and it won't be long before we reach out to over 1,00,000 members soon and fulfill our vision to make Hyderabad the most active city of the world.

GHAC is a beautiful idea that has changed my life and the lives of many others who believed in the idea and supported it all along. I had the tremendous support from my family and friends without which I would not have spent time and energy with GHAC.  It makes me happy to hear from many members that they choose to move to work in Hyderabad because GHAC was there for the weekends. GHAC has definitely raised the quality of life and made Hyderabad a better place to live in.

On this occasion of reaching 10,000 members I congratulate all the GHAC Leaders who are the ones responsible for the club growth and the members who believed and supported us along.  It's time now to reach out to other cities and do the GHAC Magic there as well and rest of India.

I am working on starting an India wide adventure organization "Great India Adventure Club - GIAC" which will have different chapters in various cities all over India. Passionate people who want to be part of GIAC and want to start an adventure club in their city can contact me.


Diyanat Ali
Founder, GHAC


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