VIJAYAWADA: Students from economically backward sections have proved that they can do wonders if given a chance. All the AP students who scaled Mount Everest this year are from poor families. Most of them are tribals studying in social and tribal welfare residential hostels. AP Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society state secretary Colonel.V. Ramulu observed that the boys coming from tribal areas have inherent physical strength as they live in hilly areas. They are used to walking up to 10 to 15 km a day.
“All the students sent for the expedition are the first generation to be educated in their respective families. When we conducted a training session in Guntur, we had invited their parents. Many of them visited Guntur for the first time,” he said. “We observed that those who were physically not that strong have scaled Everest in less time than those who are physically stronger. So it was the intense desire to achieve something that drives these students,” he said.
Coach and team guide B. Sekhar Babu said the lifestyle of tribals was very attuned to mountaineering. They came from remote areas, mostly from the forest regions. He said though they come from economically backward families, their physical fitness levels were far ahead when compared to others. Right from Malavath Poorna and S. Anand who created history together, the fresh team of 14 students have come from similar backgrounds. They used to work in the fields during their holidays to support their education and also their families.
He said: “Probably it was one of the reasons for their physical fitness as they start working from an early age. Their diet also contributes to their stamina as in many tribal families they eat millets, milo and maize.”