Manali: Pinegrove School, Solan is celebrating its silver jubilee in a completely different way. To stimulate ambition in young students, the school has set out on a tough cycling expedition on the difficult Manali-Leh highway that would go upto the high Khardungla Pass, which at 18,380 feet is considered as one of the highest motorable passes in the world.
Eleven students of the school, including one alumnus and one trainer and two teachers, left Manali for Leh Friday. The 12-day expedition took off after seeking the blessing from Devi Hidimba, the presiding deity of Manali. The team is scheduled to be back on August 13.
Shiv Singh, Aryan Bajaj, Aditya Soni, Harshveer Bajwa, Karanvir, Yatin, Vishesh, Amitoj, Sanidhya, Ankit and Arnav are the eleven cyclists and their trainer Rigzin and teachers Surender Mehta and Nikhil Sharma are accompanying them.
Ninth class student Shiv Singh, who is the youngest in the team, said that they want to do something new as nobody attempts such things. “Adventure sports should be made vital part of life besides study. It’s good for health as well,” he said. Another student Harshveer Bajwa said every youth should adopt cycling and other eco-friendly sports. “Our silver jubilee cycling expedition will spread message of adventure sports and environment,” said Bajwa.
Roshan Thakur, Secretary General, Winter Games Federation of India and pioneer of paragliding in India, flagged off the expedition. Surender Mehta, the sports instructor of the school, is also cycling with students. He said that nothing could be the better option to celebrate a silver jubilee of the existence of our school. “We have adventure loving students who have prepared a lot before setting out for for this expedition,” he said.
The expedition team is fully equipped with all medical and technical support with help of Manali based Indian Himalayan Excursions. Director of the company Kapil Negi said that support vehicles, ambulance and all required technical assistance is being provided to the expedition team.
Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice.
He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express.
With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology.
Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.