By: Mithun MK
A celebratory scene of garlands and waving Indian flags awaited at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad on Thursday to greet the 21-member team who scaled Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania recently.
Six of the girls from the team, aged between 12 and 45 years, were students of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) and the Telangana Tribal Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TTWREIS), whose staff members received them at the airport’s arrival hall.
The girls hail from poor agricultural background and made history by scaling Africa’s highest peak, which stands at 19,341 feet.
Sixteen-year-old Poorna Malavath, from Nizamabad, who led the expedition team, had become the world’s youngest person to scale Mt. Everest in May 2014. Her journey is the subject of a biopic currently being worked by director Rahul Bose.
“All of us successfully reached the top. I enjoyed leading the team. It was a new experience for me all together,” said Poorna in the din of a homecoming rally in Medak district. Poorna and the team began scaling the mountain on August 10, and reached its peak on August 13 when they unfurled the Indian flag.
The girls’ included a few students who recently climbed 17,000 feet in Sikkim and also first timers from Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Medak district.
Speaking to mediapersons, R.S. Praveen Kumar, secretary of TSWREIS and TTWREIS, lauded the students for bringing pride to the state and society.
“Adventure sports is introduced to build confidence among children from poor socioeconomic backgrounds,” he said.
He added that TSWREIS and TTWREIS were committed to making mountaineering, horse riding and other sports, a reality for the marginalised children.
Source: The New Indian Express