Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Women daredevils’ storm through Desert Safari

Jamshedpur, March 28: Braving desert conditions the 27 member all-women team from Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) and Border Security Force (BSF) led by legendry Bachendri Pal came triumphant on the ‘Indian Women’s Great Desert Safari 2015’, travelling across the salt desert.

The team, 14 selected by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation including 2 school girls from Kalinganagar in Odisha and 13 from Border Security Force (BSF), completed an ordeal of 2300 kilometers travelling from Bhuj in Gujarat to the Wagah Border in Punjab through Rajasthan on camels as well as vehicles. 

The women expedition team was on a mission to spread awareness on the girl child and the importance of empowering them to forge ahead in life. 

The team also sensitized them on the importance of education and providing equal opportunities to them to excel in life. The all women contingent acknowledged the great sacrifice by the soldiers who protect our borders under extreme conditions.

On successful completion of the expedition, Bachendri Pal, Chief, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation said, “It was challenging but a lifetime experience for the young girls who braved the hot conditions and completed the 2300 kilometer Great Indian Desert Safari on camel and vehicles.

The journey through the tough terrains has provided numerous opportunities to come triumphant on extreme difficult situations.” She further added, “Throughout the journey we interacted with the villagers and our brave soldiers across the border and spread the message of empowering our girl child and women empowerment, education, peace and solidarity”. She seemed disappointed by the facilities provided to the BSF soldiers.

“They work 24/7 to guard our borders and the condition in which they survive is messy. The BSF jawans standing inside the border post near the international border is made up of metal sheet which should be converted into a concrete one, soldiers didn’t have safety glass and they have to perform their duty with full sincerity.

Comparing them with Army, BSF is really ill treated and it’s high time that the 50 year old security agency should be given utmost respect as it is because of them we are living safe and secure. I will be writing a letter to the Home Ministry asking them to provide BSF with all the facilities as to the Army personnel’s, added first Indian women Everest climber.

Also part of the expedition, Padma Shri Premlata Agrawal who is the first Indian woman to conquer seven Summits of the world said, “We touched three states during the journey and interacted with different people and advised the women in Rajasthan to move out of purdah system and educate their girl child. It was a totally different experience as compared to the mountains but the challenges we faced were more or so the same.”

The 27 member team embarked on the journey on 25th February, 2015 from Bhuj and traveled across the desert speaking with villagers along the course of the journey. 

The ‘women on a mission’ spoke on the importance of education and girl child among the village population. The message of a sustainable lifestyle for a better future was the motto of the awareness drive. The enduring journey also commemorated the golden jubilee of the existence of the Border Security Force.

Apart from the leader, Bachendri Pal, the other participants selected by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation were Premlata Agarwal, Jamshedpur; Dipantari Sardar, Saraikela – Kharsawa, Sukhmati Mahatao, Tumung, Jharkhand; Sushila Kumari, Kandra; Rajshree Singhal, Jamshedpur; Sheetal Ekka, Jamshedpur; Shobha Rani Hansda, Jamshedpur, Rani Jamuda, Kalinganagar; Sumitra Kerai, Kalinganagar, Krishna Rana, Vadodra, Amla Rawat, Dehradun, Sandhya Bhadri, Dehradun and Navita Rana, Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.

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