Bhubaneswar: A 20-year-old girl of Kalinganagar in Jajpur district has been selected to join Mount Everest Expedition team in Nepal. Swarnalata Dalai will leave for her journey on March 27.
The expedition is being organised by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation and includes three youngsters selected from among a number of aspirants from across the country. For “Mission Everest 2018”, three candidates, Swarnalata Dalai, Poonam and Sandeep Toliya, have been trained under the foundation’s adventure programme chief Bachendri Pal.
Swarnalata is the second Odia and second youngest who is participating in the Everest trip.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Mount Everest expedition. I am grateful to our State Government, Tata Steel and Tata Steel Adventure Foundation for placing their trust and confidence in me by providing such a huge opportunity,” Dalai said.
She said, “I used to love and observe the mountain, trees and birds from my childhood. One mountaineering course of the Tata Steel encouraged me to roam around the mountains. Observing my interest, my sister helped me to participate in the first edition of Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition.”
Her mountaineering skills while participating in the Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition had impressed an adventure group, which eventually signed her up.
“Though I belong to an underdeveloped place, I had to struggle a lot to convince my parents and face my society people to come to this position,” she added.
“We are proud of Swarnalata and would like to congratulate her for being selected in the team to trek Mount Everest,” said Chanchal Rana of the Odisha Department of Sports and Youth Services.
“We at Tata Steel would like to thank the Odisha Government for providing us with continuous support for promoting sports in the State. We hope the selection of Swarnalata Dalai will further encourage the youngsters of Odisha,” said Manikanta Naik, Chief Resident Executive, Tata Steel, Bhubaneswar.
Swarnalata has also participated in other expeditions such as the Roopkund trek in Garhwal, considered one of the toughest treks and the Indian Women’s Gokyo-Everest Grand Circle Expedition. She had taken part in an expedition to Mt Rudugaira in 2017 under the Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition.