Marginalization have conquered them… but they are ready to conquer the world..
A group of 11 tribal students including four girls from Adivasi Ashram Schools in Maharashtra will embark on an expedition to scale Mount Everest on Sunday, an official said here on Saturday.
Trained by experts to tackle the tough and cold mountainous terrain and genetically gifted with grit and agility, these 11 students will take up the challenge under the state`s `Mission Shaurya – 2019`.
Chief Secretary UPS Madan, Tribal Department Principal Secretary Manisha Verma and other top dignitaries gave them a formal flag-off on Friday evening.
The 11-member team comprises seven boys – Munna Dhikar, Shivcharan Bhilavekar, Sugriv Mande, Ketan Jadhav, Anil Kunde, Manohar Hilim, Suraj Aade. The four girls are Hemlata Gaikwad, Chandrakala Gavit, Antubai Kotnake and Sushma More, all of whom hail from the remotest and backward tribal hamlets in Amravati, Chandrapur, Yavatmal, Palghar, Nashik and Dhule.
Their long and rigorous selection process started in August 2018 at the Gyan Bharti Skill Development Centre, Wardha, where 203 students with a good physique and an adventurous aptitude were trained in basic climbing skills.
From them, 132 attended a second training camp at Bhongir in Hyderabad to learn rappelling and rock-climbing, out of which 41 were sent on a four-week sojourn to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling for high altitude acclimatisation and learning essential survival techniques in the snowy heights.
The 30 who cleared this level were sent to Sikkim for three weeks of intensive training with the Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Eco-Tourism to learn resilience, rescue tactics and camaraderie while summiting the 19,500 feet tall Mt. Lako Kang.
The 18 who made it through this were sent for a tough 12 days of training in minus 35 degrees temperatures to Stok Kangri peak in Leh-Ladakh from which the final 11 were selected for the ultimate challenge of attempting Mt. Everest. This is the second time tribal students from Maharashtra will embark on a mission to conquer the world`s highest peak in Nepal.
In May 2018, five tribal students from Chandrapur created history when they peaked Mount Everest and planted the Indian Tricolour there. Madan said the initiative helps empower the tribal community which would result in immense social gains in the future and wished the 11 youngsters success in their endeavour.
Verma said `Mission Shaurya` aims to instil a belief in one`s self and create a positive passion among the tribal children to dream big, boldly seize opportunities and serve the community and nation at large.
UIDAI warns people not to use public computer for downloading Aadhaar
The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) recently warned people of using a public computer for downloading Aadhaar.
‘Aadhaar Essentials Download your Aadhaar only from official UIDAI portal: eaadhaar.uidai.gov.in. If you used a public computer to download, don’t forget to delete the downloaded file after you have taken a print out,’ UIDAI tweeted.
The UIDAI had also tweeted about how it discourages Plastic or PVC Aadhaar copies. It said, ‘Your Aadhaar letter or Aadhaar downloaded from uidai.gov.in or mAadhaar profile is enough for any Aadhaar related service.’
#AadhaarEssentials Download your Aadhaar only from official UIDAI portal: https://t.co/C190bVXBCk. If you used a public computer to download, don't forget to delete the downloaded file after you have taken a print out. pic.twitter.com/CR0PZimIvX
— Aadhaar (@UIDAI) April 26, 2019
The UIDAI in its press release stated: UIDAI has asked people to keep away from such elements/shops/vendors. Dr Ajay Bhushan Pandey, CEO, UIDAI said, ‘So-called Aadhaar Smart card is totally unnecessary and a waste as during such printing its QR code often becomes dysfunctional. The Aadhaar card or the downloaded Aadhaar card printed on ordinary paper or mAadhaar is perfectly valid for all kind of uses.’
Apart from letting people know about how to download the Aadhaar card, it also talked about how one can apply for updating address online through UIDAI portal.
One of these facilities enables the user to apply for a change in the address fed into the Aadhaar database. The user can update the address online by submitting valid documents or an address validation letter (for those without documents), according to the UIDAI’s website – uidai.gov.in.
‘Maveli’ frog to be the official frog of Kerala??
Researchers at the Kerala Forest Research Institute (KFRI) have decided to honour a little-known frog from Kerala’s Western Ghats by naming it Maveli (short for Mahābalī) and petitioning the government to recognise it as the state frog. If approved, Kerala would be the first state in India to have an official frog or amphibian.
Commonly known as the purple or pig-nosed frog, this robust, dark purple species is elusive and spends most of its time under the soil. “We decided to name it Maveli since much like the Asura King, it comes out of the soil once a year. It comes out during monsoons, typically to mate and moves to fresh streams to lay eggs,” Sandeep D, an EDGE fellow and PhD student at KFRI who has sent the proposal to make Maveli the state frog.
Known in academic circles by the scientific name Nasikabatrachus sahyadrensis, the purple frog was discovered in 2003 by SD Biju, from the Tropical Botanic Garden, and Franky Bossuyt, from the Free University of Brussels.
As per the IUCN’s Red List, the purple frog is placed in the fourth highest category of threatened species. It is also ranked third in the list of threatened amphibians under the EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) list. This is out of 8,007 amphibians in the world.
“The purple frog is considered an important species globally and it is endemic to Kerala. Making it a state frog can help boost its conservation,” Sandeep added. Conserving the frog has other benefits: It could also lead to protecting the aquatic ecosystem of the Western Ghats, including tiny species living in the springs and pools.
“Since this frog only breeds in the seasonal springs, it becomes an umbrella species. If we have to conserve the frog, we have to conserve the whole aquatic ecosystem of the springs,” Sandeep adds. A proposal has been sent to members of the State Wildlife Advisory Board and a decision is expected to be taken in June.
Climate Change is not the only thing affecting Mount Everest
A dedicated clean-up team sent to Mount Everest has collected three tonnes of garbage in its first two weeks, officials said Wednesday, in an ambitious plan to clean the world’s highest rubbish dump. Decades of commercial mountaineering have left the pristine mountain polluted as an increasing number of big-spending climbers pay little attention to the ugly footprint they leave behind.
Fluorescent tents, discarded climbing equipment, empty gas canisters and even human excrement litter the well-trodden route to the summit of the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak. As this year’s spring climbing season kicked off last month, the Nepal government sent a 14-member team with a target to bring back 10,000 kilograms (10 tonnes) of trash from Everest within a month and a half.
The team has collected and bundled the three tonnes of rubbish, including empty cans, bottles, plastic and discarded climbing gear from the base camp and surrounding areas bustling with climbers preparing and acclimatising to summit Everest.
“The clean-up campaign team has just started and members have ascended to higher camps to collect more garbage,” said Dandu Raj Ghimire, chief of Nepal’s tourism department. An army helicopter transported a third of the collected trash to Kathmandu for recycling. The remaining biodegradable trash was taken to the neighbouring Okhaldhunga district for proper disposal.
Eight members are now cleaning Camp 2 at 6,400 metres and teams of three will take turns to go up to Camp 4 at 7,950 metres, where they will spend 15 days litter-picking on the snowy slopes. “The clean-up campaign will be continued in the coming seasons as well to make the world’s tallest mountain clean. It is our responsibility to keep our mountains clean,” Ghimire said.
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