Bhubaneswar: Bringing laurels to the state, Odia girl Swarnalata Dalai scaled Mount Everest on Monday along with mountaineers Poonam and Sandeep Toliya.
The 20-year old, began her mountaineering quest in 2015, when she was signed up for a mountaineering programme by Tata Steel in Uttarkashi region.
Swarnalata’s first official mountaineering stint came in 2016, when she took part in the Biju Patnaik Himalayan Expedition held in association with Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF). Initially, she faced resistance from her parents and relatives, who thought mountaineering was too ‘boyish.’ She could finally convince them after a lot of pestering.
As a part of the training under Biju Patnaik Expedition, this native of Jagadiha village in Kalinganagar and other mountaineers were imparted three short courses – in Darjeeling for 23 days, and Panchalingeswar, Odisha for 17 days. The third programme was conducted under the guidance of Bachendri Pal, the first woman to climb Mount Everest.
Ahead of scaling the Mount Everest, Swarnalata and her co-mountaineers undertook an expedition to Mt. Aconcagua, highest peak in South America, and other training at Garhwal Himalaya in February this year.
Congratulating her, Sunil Bhaskaran, Vice President, Corporate Services, Tata Steel said, “It’s a great achievement by the trekkers and it showcases their indomitable spirit, zeal and grit. We at Tata Steel are proud to have been able to support them to realize their dreams. TSAF, through this unique endeavour, will continue to promote the adventure sports in the country.”