The world is sustaining an ambience where economic capacity determines access of opportunities and the economically disadvantaged are condemned to the peripheries. Four tribal students from Maharashtra embarked upon a trek to Mount Everest and their success brings immense optimism.
Shalini Patra is a mountaineering enthusiast based in Dehradun.
Mount Everest is the highest mountain peak in the world and while every trekker dreams of going to the top, every layman aspires to experience its grandeur. The dream of climbing Mount Everest came true for a group of tribal children from Chandrapur.
Four students from residential tribal schools based in the area reached the top of the mountain on Wednesday. They are the first tribal students from India to scale Mount Everest. The children were selected after a rigorous procedure from many other students in the area.
The children were selected under a joint initiative of Maharashtra Tribal department and Chandrapur Collectorate for the trek to Mount Everest. The children underwent rigorous training before embarking on the journey from the side of China.
The children accomplished a task that for most people only remains a distant aspiration. The communities that they adhered to will certainly take immense pride in their achievement. The initiative of the Maharashtra government for the encouragement and training to tribal students to undertake the trekking endeavour must be appreciated and replicated by many state governments.
In the context of the neo-liberal hegemony on education and the decline in public educational mechanism, an initiative such as this stands for hope. Children from government and state schools seldom get the opportunities that enable them to discover their true passion but this endeavour encouraged even children from the economically disadvantaged sections of the population to embark on a journey to Mount Everest.
The trek the children embarked upon generates immense hope and optimism at a time when economics increasingly determines life chances.