It is a proud moment for Maharashtra, as 10 tribal youth from the state’s Chandrapur area have embarked on a laborious journey towards Mount Everest, in a mission termed as “Mission Shaurya”.
The 10 member team left for Kathmandu, Nepal on April 11, from where they began their 60-day climb. The climb to the highest mountain in the world is not for the faint-hearted, and being mentally and physically prepared is the key to success. The 10 were trained at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling, where they learned how to use mountaineering equipment and also underwent training to be physically prepared for the conditions on Everest, by training at a height of 14,000 feet.
The Maharashtra government began this program in order to promote tribal youth into various fields, including sport. The selection process dates all the way to July 2017, where 60 applied and 45 were selected for the first course in Wardha. The number reduced to 25 after 20 were dismissed due to physical inabilities to make the climb. The group of 25 travelled to Hyderabad for yet another mountaineering course. 18 progressed to the mountaineering course in Darjeeling, and soon the number reduced to 10 for the toughest course in Ladakh, in winter.
The group includes 7 boys and 3 girls, 18-21 years of age, accompanied by 15 sherpas (local experts), a doctor, support staff and a team manager.
According to a report in TOI, one of the members, Manisha, is a native of Zulwadi tribal hamlet in Jiwati taluka, which has just seven families. Her parents are farm labourers and she has three siblings. “Climbing Everest is the first serious goal of my life,” said the girl who was selected for the state-tribal development initiative ‘Mission Shaurya 2018’ and left her village for the first time for training in July 2017. Vikas Soyam (21), another student selected for the mission, said he wants to join the army while Kavidas Katmode (18) said wants to become a politician. Both want to do something for the nation and society.
The Maharashtra government has taken measures so that the group is insured, and the honorable CM of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis even gave them a grand send-off.