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On a mission to put women on top of the world

The practical session of an adventure camp under the National Adventure Academy, Devikulam, near Munnar in Idukki district.

IDUKKI, Kerala:  Soon there will be a women mountaineer from South India who will conquer Mt Everest. The National Adventure Academy, Devikulam, is planning to train women mountaineers from South India to scale the highest peak in the world.

Hitherto it has given training to over 5,000 youths, both male and female. However, the training sessions were limited to short-term periods and the plan now is to develop the academy into a high-level mountain training centre. “We are the only agency under the Ministry of Youth Welfare in South India. We have trained many batches of the Indian Navy and the Indian Reserved Battalion, Kerala,” Kannan M., special officer of the academy, told The Hindu on Wednesday. The plan is now to give academic training to women mountaineers to achieve the aim of sending at least one woman climber from South India to Mt Everest, he said. At present the academy is imparting training on mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling, river crossing and trekking. It consists of practical and training session to develop the skill and the spirit of adventure among the youth. It is developed through hard work, dedication and basic knowledge on taking adventure as a sport.

Even before entering a forest, one requires the mindset to accept its biodiversity and needs the basic information on dealing with wild animals, he said adding that to develop an adventure spirit one requires the qualities to accept the nature in addition to mental and physical toughness.

There are two factors in consideration while training to climb Mt Everest — rock craft and ice craft. “We do not have the basic natural environment for ice crafting,” he said adding that this was the reason for those from South India lagging behind in Himalayan mountaineering expedition.

The plan is to push forward with ice craft too and a batch of women will be soon given training to achieve the goal, he said.

At present training for Himalayan expeditions is given at various training centres under the Indian Mountaineering Federation located in Himachal Pradesh, Utarakhand and, West Bengal.

–  By Giji K. Raman for THE HINDU

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