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Adventure Sports for Youth Empowerment

By C.M. Paul
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Guwahati, Aug. 31. The Assam Mountaineering Association (AMA) organised a seminar entitled Respect and Sustain Nature, While on Adventure Avert Disaster at Assam Don Bosco University's (ADBU) Azara Campus Auditorium on Saturday, 31st August. Some 200 students and faculty from Don Bosco Institute of Social Sciences, and DB College of Engineering & Technology (DBCET) Azara and Don Bosco Institute of Management Kharguli, and some 20 AMA delegates participated.
Speaking passionately on seminar theme President of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation Col H.S. Chouhan from New Delhi, presented Mountaineering as an adventure sport that has high potential for youth empowerment.

''You gain confidence, it can provide self employment as well as help in disaster management,'' he said citing some of the benefits of the adventure sports in which thousands of youth could be trained with government money.

''In ten years,'' he said, ''this could change the whole scenario of adventure sports and tourism in northeast India.''

Last year (2012) northeast India got two mountaineering institutes: one at Chemche in Sikkim (Indian Himalayan Centre for Adventure & Eco Tourism), and the other at Dhirang, Arunachal (National Institute of Mountaineering and Adventure Sports).

Responding to the call of Col Chouhan to venture into adventure sports, the ADBU Vice Chancellor Dr Stephen Mavely encouraged students to make use of the rock climbing facility in Guwahati under the aegis of AMA.

He also offered three other possibilities for adventure sports to students including the installation of an artificial rock face (70 feet tall) in the atrium of DBCET at Azara as well as setting up a facility of using ropes to cross between buildings on Azara campus.

At Tapesia, in the permanent campus, Vice Chancellor hopes to have a natural rock face for mountaineering. He also wants to incorporate into ADBU courses the new UGC Curriculum on Adventure Sports.

The Director of Technical Education, Assam and Principal of Assam Engineering College Dr Atul Bora spoke on ''Averting and Managing Disasters: A Sustainable Framework.''

President of Assam Mountaineering Association Mr Satyen Sarma thanked the students and faculty for their keen participation and promised every help to promote Adventure Tourism.

The program was coordinated by ADBU Human Resource Director Juhi Baruah and AMA Convenor Ashok Kumar Jhuria. It was anchored by Training and Placement Officer, Shahnowaz Hussain.

Last May (2013) two mountaineers from Assam, Manish Deka and Tarun Saikia scaled the Mount Everest within a span of a week. Both were a part of the first North East Indian Everest Expedition, sponsored by the North East Council, and Manipur Mountaineering & Trekking Association.

Along with Deka and Saikia, four other climbers from Northeast India-- N Chingkheinganba, A Robert and N Bidyapati of Manipur and David Zohmang of Mizoram -- also scaled the Everest during the expedition.

The first expedition to the Everest from Assam had begun in 1969 when two Assamese mountaineers -- Rohini Kumar Bhuyan and Atanu Prasad Baruah -- attempted to scale the tallest peak but were unsuccessful.
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