12 TRIBAL STU­DENTS CLIMB LAKPAKANCHY

Deccan Chronicle - - City - DC COR­RE­SPON­DENT

In­spired by Malavath Poorna, the tribal stu­dent who climbed Mount Ever­est, 12 stu­dents from the Tribal Wel­fare Res­i­den­tial Ju­nior Col­lege at Hay­at­na­gar climbed the 18,200-foot Lakpakanchy in Sikkim on Fri­day. The stu­dents hoisted the In­dian Flag on the top of the moun­tain.

Among the stu­dents was Ms Ma­hesh­wari, who had es­caped her par­ents’ at­tempt to get her mar­ried as a child.

“I never imag­ined that I would go to col­lege and be­come a moun­taineer. I would have ended up as a vic­tim of child mar­riage if not for the tribal wel­fare res­i­den­tial schools and col­leges,” said Ms Ma­hesh­wari.

She said, she was in­spired by Poorna’s ex­pe­di­tion to the Ever­est, Kil­i­man­jaro and Mount El­brus. “She is a role model for mil­lions of poor tribal girls like me.”

The 12 stu­dents hail from par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble tribal groups and are first gen­er­a­tion stu­dents from these groups. Most of them are from re­mote tribal ham­lets in Adi­l­abad. The team of 12 com­prised four girls and eight boys.

Dr R.S. Praveen Ku­mar, Tribal Wel­fare Res­i­den­tial Ed­u­ca­tional In­sti­tu­tions So­ci­ety sec­re­tary, told this news­pa­per: “We are par­tic­u­larly happy with the team’s suc­cess, be­cause they are from very marginalised tribal com­mu­ni­ties. If ameni­ties are pro­vided, any­one can grow and achieve great heights. Now, the team would be trained for much higher al­ti­tudes in­clud­ing death zones.”

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