Lesson 9. OUR NATIONAL HEROES

First strive and desire , then desire,
So have saints to us told,
This is national progress 'mantra' (formula)
In your hearts you must hold. 

Udyam Shastra - Chapter 2 Verse 9
Key Objectives:

This activity aims to develop the ability to use various methods of advertisement.

  1. To provide stimulation to adventurous thinking.
  2. To develop the habit of taking risks in life.
  3. To develop ambitions to achieve great things in life.
  4. To develop leadership.
  5. To create a sense of responsibility in students.
Activities:

ACTIVITY 1- Our National Heroes

Distribute the worksheets to students in groups. Give one dictionary to each group. Encourage them to find meanings of unknown words from dictionary. Motivate the students to identify persons from their life who have struggled and overcame difficulties and achieved great success. 

INSTRUCTIONS TO STUDENTS

  Read the worksheets and carry out the instructions along.

Bachendri Pal

Bachendri Pal was the first Indian woman to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest, in 1984. Her father was a border tradesman who took atta and rice from India to Tibet on mules, horses and goats. He eventually settled near Uttarkashi, where he married and they raised their five children. Bachendri, the middle child, was born in 1954. Always a rebellious child, she loved wandering by herself in the Garhwal Himalayas. Her family was often entertained by her dreams of travelling in airplanes and meeting famous people. She was independent and fearless, and first tasted the excitement of the high altitudes when a group of 12-year-old classmates climbed to 4000m (13123 feet) during a picnic, could not come down by nightfall, and spent the night there without food or shelter.

At 13, like most Garhwal girls she was expected to leave school and help in the house, but she studied on her own at night until her determination impressed her family to let her finish high school. She still earned money by sewing in her spare time. The principal of her school persuaded her family to send her to college, where she beat both boys and girls in rifle shooting and other competitions.

Her B.A. thrilled her parents, who wanted her to be the first girl in the village with a higher degree. She eventually an M.A. in Sanskrit and then a B.Ed. In spite of these achievements the job offers that came in were only for lowpaid, temporary, junior-level positions, so Bachendri applied to the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering for a course. She was judged the best student in the course, and marked down as ‘Everest material’, much to her surprise.

In an advanced camp at NIM in 1982, she climbed Gangotri I (6,672 m/ 21900 ft) and Rudugaira (5,819 m / 19091 ft). Her mentor was Brigadier Gyan Singh, director of the National Adventure Foundation, who set up an Adventure Club for young women to learn mountaineering skills. It also provided an instructor’s job for Bachendri, whose family was under economic pressure.

India’s fourth expedition to Everest was scheduled for 1984, and only four women in the world had ever scaled the peak. The ’84 team consisted of seven women and eleven men, and this was Bachendri Pal’s first real . After an avalanche, injuries, and other problems, she stood on the summit of Sagarmatha (the Nepali name for the highest peak in the world) at 1:07 pm on 23 May, 1984. 29,028 ft, or 8848 m.

The year after this accomplishment, Pal led an all-woman team to Everest, and in 1994, led an all-woman rafting team down the Ganga, from Hardwar to Calcutta. In 1997, Bachendri Pal was the leader for an all-woman, seven month traverse of the Himalayas, which, unfortunately, She is currently employed as deputy divisional manager (adventure programmes), Tata Steel Adventure Foundation.

Some ideas of Bachendri Pal in her own words

‘We will show the world that Indian women are not helpless human beings, but are capable of doing what no liberated modern Western woman has ever dared to do’

I first expressed the desire to become a professional mountaineer, the objection that my family, relatives, and the people around me raised was that mountaineering is not something women should ever think of. According to them, the only profession women should take up — if at all they insist on working— is that of a school- teacher.

With due respect to teachers, I confess that since I had no inclination to take up teaching, I had to cross many hurdles, many humiliations, much more difficult to cross than the boulders of Mount Everest. For me to get out of my rural society itself was a long struggle.

Somewhere along the line, all this set me thinking about women in India. Are we born merely to produce and rear children? And even if this were so, what type of training and upbringing can we give our children if we ourselves are uneducated, unexposed to the world and happenings, steeped in superstition? It is often said, and I strongly believe, that only strong mothers can led to a strong nation.

Many people suffer from a misconception that mountaineering is just climbing and descending mountains with a rucksack. Well, it is much, much more. Any person who has had some experience in this will tell you how the adventure toughens a person, both mentally and physically. Both trekking and mountaineering are ideal and ultimate tests of human endurance. They teach you how to deal with critical situations, they force discipline and leadership qualities, humility, courage, self-respect, and self-confidence, besides bringing one in contact with people from different areas and different cultures.

How do you expect to instill leadership qualities, courage, and an ability to deal with crises by giving lectures to people sitting within four walls? It is only when they meet with challenges and critical situations that they will exercise their brains to their maximum and also exert themselves fully physically.

We want to make history. We want to see Indian women standing in the entire Himalayan belt with our heads high. We also want to collect and spread information about our Himalayas, which control the climate of our entire country.

My job includes training the Tata Steel trainees in adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, rowing, rafting, staying in camps, and cooking for themselves. This training is compulsory for all Tata Steel trainee employees. Our institution believes this will toughen its employees and that only people with toughness and quality can produce quality steel — tough and superior.

Find the meaning of  following words using dictionary.

Summit

Rebellious

Determination

Persuade

Achievements

Adventure

Expedition

Avalanche

Accomplishment

Mountaineer

Humiliations

Struggle

Accomplishment

Mentor

Endurance

Leadership

Use all of the above words to make meaningful sentences.

Collect some more photographs of Bachendri Pal. 

Write a story of one more woman who has overcome great difficulties in life and made great achievements. 

Do you know any person in real life who have struggled a lot in life to achieve success.