Bhubaneswar: Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Odisha Sports and Youth Services Department Vishal. K Dev flagged off the 4th Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition 2019 at the iconic Kalinga Stadium, here in Bhubaneswar.
Congratulating and wishing the team of young climbers a successful expedition, Sports Secretary, shared, “The expedition is going to be exciting and challenging for the young climbers. Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition is an annual programme started by the Department of Sports & Youth Services, Government of Odisha in the year 2016 to commemorate the Biju Patnaik Birth Centenary Celebration. The expedition aims at instilling values of adventurism, discipline, team spirit and leadership among youths. The selected candidates had to pass through a fitness test as the Himalayan region offers tough terrain and endurance, fitness and strength is key. The response from the earlier expeditions has been encouraging and motivates us to carry on the annual event with great enthusiasm.”
The 4th Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition to Mt. Stock Kangri (20,187 ft) in Leh region, is planned to be held from 12th to 24th September’ with technical support from Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF). The two-level ‘Selection-cum-Preparatory Camps’ were held earlier to finalize the expedition team. The final team consisting of 10 boys and 05 girls under the leadership of Shri. Ganesh Chandra Jena, Everester will be going on the expedition to Mt. Stock Kangri.
The expedition will be headed and guided by Padmashree Bachendri Pal, Legendary Mountaineer & first Indian lady to climb Mt. Everest. Mr. Haresh Kumar Mishra, Programme Officer from the Department of Sports and Youth Services, Odisha will also be accompanying the team up to base camp in Leh for smooth coordination of the programme.
For the selection of participants of this expedition, an open advertisement was published in the month of June-2019. In response 97 applications were received for the purpose, out of which 65 youth (53 male & 12 female) were eligible and attended the fitness/ endurance test at Kalinga Stadium on 18th July-2019. The pre-selection camp held at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, was organized under the Technical Support of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF). Out of 65 participants, 30 youths (20 boys & 10 girls) were selected for the Conditioning Camp held at Utarakshi from 02nd to 12th August-2019.
15 youth (10 boys & 05 girls) were finally selected for the 4th Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition-2019 to “Mt. Stock Kangri”.