In a bid to promote love for mountaineering amongst its students and encourage them to take up the adventure sport on a professional level, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) is tying up with professional mountaineering institutes operating in the Himalayan region to train its students.
Dr Sanjaykumar Dalvi, director of SPPU’s Board of Students Welfare, which is carrying out the project, said a sum of Rs 5 lakh has been kept aside to sponsor 20 students in the first year of this project.
“At the university or district level, our students have carried out many expeditions in the Sahyadri ranges but the Vice-Chancellor was of the opinion that if students want to take up mountaineering as a sport, then they should have some experience of mountaineering in the icy Himalayan regions, where the difficult peaks lie. Mountaineering is not just a sport but teaches one to push their limits, plan in detail, develop team spirit and acquire other qualities. For many students who might have interest, the opportunities or financial means may not be available. Also, if you want to do an expedition, you cannot just go for it directly; one has to clear the basic training levels. Hence we have decided to start mountaineering camps in the Himalayan ranges with the help of experts who will train our students right from the basic level. Also we plan to train the students in skiing,” said Dalvi.
While nominations for the camps would be open to all, Dalvi said, selection would depend on the student’s physical fitness, interest in mountaineering and past experience.
A few institutes recognised by the varsity are Manali’s Atal Behari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports besides Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling.
“Students will undergo an approximate 20 days training at the end of which they will get a certificate and those who are able to clear the first level, we will encourage to go to the next leve,” said Dalvi.
“Also, next year we plan to add other adventure sports too,” added Dalvi.