12 TRIBAL STUDENTS CLIMB LAKPAKANCHY
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.”