Second Biju Patnaik Himalayan expedition flagged off

Bhubaneswar: The second Biju Patnaik Himalayan expedition, a voyage aimed to instil values of adventure, team spirit and leadership among youths was flagged off by Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today.

“I am glad to flag off the Himalayan expedition and wish all participants success,” Patnaik said after while launching the campaign.

A team of 15 mountaineers and adventurists led by the Padmashree Bachendri Pal, Premlata Agarwal, mountaineer Jogabyasa Bhoi and Rajendra Singh Pal will scale Mt Rudugaira (19,000 ft), a peak situated in Gangotri glacier of Uttarakhand between 16 September and 28 Septmber.

Speaking to media persons during the flag-off, Bachendri Pal said last year’s expedition was very successful and the forthcoming expedition will also be a very good learning experience. “This is not just scaling a mountain but a platform to provide youths a scope for learning,” she said.

The expedition programme is entirely funded by the State’s Sports and Youth Services department at a cost of Rs 20 lakh. Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) which is the collaborative partner will provide all the necessary technical support.

Earlier an open advertisement regarding the expedition was published in the month of February following which selection processes were conducted at Kalinga Stadium.

Initially, out of the 157 applicants, 84 youths were screened to undergo fitness test at TSAF centre in Jamshedpur. Later after the second phase screening at Uttarkashi, 15 youths were selected for the expedition.