A Snow White Tale

Adventure camps are an intrinsic part of the NCC program and every year a number of such camps are organised by NCC to provide the young cadets a peek into the adventurous lifestyle. Mountaineering, Trekking, Snow Skiing and Para Shooting are only a few in a long list of adventure sports that these cadets are trained in and experience. Only a lucky few from different directorates (States and Union territories) get nominated to these camps, preference being given to the cadets who have actively contributed and have commendable achievements in NCC. Nominated to represent the Sambalpur Group in the Snow Skiing Camp Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM), Gulmarg, Cadet Bata Krishna Giri has once again made the Institute proud.

Beginning a long and arduous journey, replete with train delays, land-slides, traffic jams and road blocks, the team of four candidates including Bata Krishna reached IISM, Gulmarg on 22nd March. Describing the journey to be an education in itself on the myriad ways of our country India, Cadet Bata Krishna extolls the beauty of Kashmir, “Its beautiful valleys, mountains, tall pine trees on the snow clad mountains, lush green pastures, the rivers fretting with the valleys ever changing their course and the cheerful people justify it to be called ‘Heaven on earth’ ”.

During their stay at IISM, the cadets were taught the basics of alpine snow skiing, taken for short treks and sightseeing to nearby places.

The institute was well organised and maintained under the able leadership of Colonel J S Dhillon, Principal, IISM, Gulmarg. Every morning we would march to the ski slope where we were taught tactics of skiing. The entire team was divided into ten groups and each group trained under an instructor. It was fun skiing from the slope but it was equally tiring to climb uphill on the snow-covered slippery terrain.

Enduring and persevering through the daunting and exhausting challenge, not to mention that every moment was a risk. But these were the crème de la crème of the National Cadet Corps and possessed the mental strength and physical prowess to weather it all. . On the final day, the cadets had an opportunity to witness a skiing race by the soldiers of High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), popularly known as the “White Devils”. The soldiers, carrying heavy equipment and weapons, left the onlookers in awe as they effortlessly skied on the snow while everyone else found it even difficult to stand. The nights were spent socializing and the NCC cadets showcasing their multi-faceted talents through performances. For their last night at IISM, a fabulous supper was organized as the young cadets were busy exchanging contacts and trying to click pictures and capturing memories of their time together.

Experiences such as these, seldom come our way and Cadet Bata Krishna grabbed the opportunity with both hands. In his own words, “It gave me an opportunity to see a new world, experience a new sport, and discover a new talent. I am very thankful to our respected director Prof. S.K. Sarangi, our ANO, Lt. U.K. Mishra, my parents, my friends for extending all the support and help for the camp.”