Youth affairs department encourages students to take part in adventure sports
This comes at the time when police came to know after speaking to eyewitnesses that only three out of sixteen friends had helped to take Aabesh Dasgupta to hospital even after finding him bleeding profusely after receiving the serious wound. The loss of time in taking Aabesh to hospital led to more bleeding and henceforth resulted in his death, according to doctors.
For the past two years, West Bengal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Foundation (WBMASF) under the state Youth Affairs department has initiated a programme of sending mountaineering and adventure sports clubs with at least 20 teenagers and youth for practicing hang gliding, mountaineering, rock-climbing, altitude trekking, jungle safari and river crossing.
Four places were selected for practicing the sports. It includes Susunia hills in Bankura and Joychandi, Mathaguru and Gajaguru areas in Purulia. Each of the clubs is allowed to spend four days in any one of the four locations.
The Youth Affairs department provides financial assistance of Rs 25,000 to each of the club if they can successfully provide training to the teenagers by following all the set norms. There must be at least 20 boys and girls in each group including two from the locality where they would undertake the training or from economically challenged families. Mainly students of class VII, VIII and IX take part in the activities that is being organised from the month of November to February.
In 2014-15 and 2015-16 around 50 and 65 clubs which deal with adventure sports and enlisted with WBMASF had been successful in completing the project. The department has received 80 applications for expedition in 2016-17.
Now, WBMASF members have decided to bring in more school-goers and college goers in the project. Thus, the schools and colleges have been invited to undertake similar expeditions for students. The Youth Affairs department has decided to provide all sort of support to authorities of the schools and colleges. They will be getting the financial assistance as well.
Like the clubs, the representatives from the school, who has experience in these sorts of sports, will take the children to any of the four places. They will be taught to stay together in camps and pick up the lesson of cooperating with each other. While practicing adventure sports like rock climbing, rafting, river crossing and jungle safari they will learn how to help each other.
“Thus, without any extra effort, it will help in growing the sense of self discipline, good relation with friends, to sacrifice for a noble cause and moreover the sense of fellow feeling so that they do not turn their faces and leave a place when their friends are in need,” said Ujjal Roy, advisor of WBMASF, adding that a student undertaking such training will never become “self-cantered”. Instead they will lead by example when it comes in helping people in distress.
It may be mentioned that earlier, the Kolkata Police had engaged girl students from schools and colleges in undertaking “self-defence” courses. The project was the dream project of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.