Mountaineer and geography teacher Rajeev Saumitra, who hoisted India’s tricolour at Antarctica’s highest peak Mount Vinson (4,892 m) last Christmas, has initiated the ‘Learn Mountaineering’ campaign. “Mountaineering has lured many Indians who wanted to get away from the high-stress, capital-intensive ecosystems in which we live. It is a probably the best tool to reconnect with and re-discover not just one’s own self but also mother nature, which for most of us is limited to the visuals we see on the National Geographic,” Rajeev said.

 

“Children are far more agile than us adults and are natural mountaineers. This is a costly sport and our government gives very little financial help when compared to other countries. I am putting my best efforts to bring this to the notice of the Central and State governments and other organisations,” Rajiv added.

 Harshit Saumitra at the Mount Everest Base Camp

He added that if people were aware and had some experience of mountaineering and disaster management, then many lives would have been saved during Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand’s Kedarnath floods. “Floods, cloud burst, landslides are very common in mountain terrains. During such incidents, people often look upon for help from the government, Army and the Police. Awareness of some key factors of mountaineering  can save many lives during disaster,” he said.

 

Rajeev Saumitra also informed the media about ‘Harshit Foundation’, which he established to make his son Harshit Saumitra’s achievement memorable when he created the world record by scaling Mount Everest’s base camp and Kala Pathar peak (5,550 m) at the age of 5 years, 11 months. Harshit Foundation will manage the ‘Learn Mountaineering’ campaign and motivate people, especially students for mountaineering and disaster management to save self and other lives.