A team of 9 women officers of the Indian Army undertaking mountaineering expedition to Mt Bhagirathi-II in Uttarakhand was flagged off by Director General of Military Training on 14 May 2018. The summit is challenging owing to its technical requirements, vertical ascents, inclement and unpredictable weather conditions.
The expedition will be conducted from 14 May to 11 Jun 18.
The expedition aims at encouraging women in the field of adventure where dauntless courage, will-power and determination is put to test. The Indian Army women officers are exploring their maximum potential in the field of adventure sports.
Planning A New World Record
Under the expedition from May 14 to June 11, the team consisting of 9 women officers plans to set a new world record of practising Yoga at 21000 ft.
It will test their technical acumen in mountaineering, mental strength and physical courage.
About Mt Bhagirathi:
Bhagirathi are the group of 3 peaks: Bhagirathi I 6856m, Bhagirathi II 6512m, and Bhagirathi III 6454m in the Garhwal Himalayas. Bhagirathi Group lies in the Gangotri group.
Bhagirathi peaks lies opposite to Mt Meru, Mt Shivling, Mt ThalaySagar and Mt Kedar Dome. Bhagirathi peaks are considered as sacred among the Hindus. They are also situated where the river Ganga originates. It stands at and dominates the end of the valley leading up to Gaumukh which is the end of the Gangotri Glacier and the source of the river Ganga.
Not the first time for women officers:
This is not the first time that women officers from the army have attempted to scale the heights of the mountains. One such officer who has scaled the Everest not only once, but twice, is Maj Deepika Rathore.
Maj Deepika Rathore the only lady from Indian Armed Forces to have conquered Mt. Everest twice. Maj Deepika is an ex-NCC cadet from Rajasthan. She had been a part of Republic Day Parade in 2002 and had represented India in Singapore in the Youth Exchange Programme. Apart from this, she had won a national level silver medal in guess what? Dancing! So yeah, the word ‘multi-talented’ will surely define her best.
In 2012, Capt Smitha scaled Mt Everest. She along with six other women officers of the Indian Army achieved this feat by not only challenging steep heights of the mountain but also its harsh weather conditions, strong winds, blinding blizzards and avalanches. She was the youngest officer in the team. The entire expedition that was filmed by the Discovery Channel captures the arduous task undertaken by these seven women along with a team of ten other members comprising of male officers and a Sherpa.
Indian army today not just fights wars effectively, but is also successful in spreading the awareness of sports and adventure in its men and women. Today, you will find Army men achieved more not just in terms of gallantry but in terms of sports, politics and social services. The current expedition by the 9 women officers demonstrates that the Indian army provides equal opportunities to both men and women.