Minister of State (I/C), Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan flagged off the ONGC Everest Expedition at a glittering ceremony held at India Habitat Center on March 28. This is a first-of-its kind initiative undertaken by any corporate so far to scale Mount Everest – the highest place on the earth at an altitude of 8848 mts.
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Dharmendra Pradhan said that it would indeed be matter for pride for not only ONGC but also the entire nation once the expedition team comes back with flying colors. “I see future leaders in each of the expedition members, as when you counter the elements, no challenge seems too big to surmount”, he said. Appreciating the inclusion of two women ONGC executives, Pradhan said: “We look forward to welcoming you back and celebrate the spirit of success, adventure and camaraderie”.
The Minister said that such initiatives will set the benchmarks for other corporates to emulate. The kick off to the function witnessed immense enthusiasm from the team of 11 young ONGCians drawn from different disciplines raring to scale the highest peak of the world and extend ONGC’s footprint beyond the scale of any human imagination. Capt. S.K. Sangwan, Manager HR, ONGC will be leading the 11 member contingent under the expert guidance of Padma Loveraj Singh Dharamshkatu, Asst Commandent- BSF, from Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF). ONGC employees Dr Nitin Chawla, Senior Medical Officer, Dr Ritu Sharma, Senior Geologist, Monti Rajkhowa, EE (Prod), N Jagoi AEE (Prod), Nirmal Kumar, EE (Mech), Prabhat Gaurav EE (Elect), Rahul Jarngal, AEE(Instt), Santosh Singh, Senior Security Officer, Surender Tomar, AG-I, (Geo) and Yogender Garbiyal, EE (Mech) are part of this expedition.
The entire team of ONGC has been trained for this herculean task by experts from IMF. This is also an attempt from ONGC, with a workforce of 33,000 to prepare a team of youngsters who had little or no formal knowledge or skills in mountaineering craft to attempt scale the highest peak on the Earth.
The genesis of ONGC’s Everest Expedition began about two years back in October 2015 when ONGC Everest successfully completed the trek to Everest Base Camp (17000ft) with a team of 21 climbers. From here began a Mission to scale Mt. Everest in 2017. Over 150 Everest aspirants underwent a strenuous selection process before the final team for the Summit was identified. The entire selection and training took nearly 15 months and had an eight stage elimination process which tested the physical and mental endurance levels of the participants.
A coffee table book titled ‘JUNGLE! The Forests of India’ authored by renowned wildlife photographer Sunjoy Monga was also released by the Minister on the occasion. The book is a first that captures all the forests of India, right from Himalayas to the Andamans. ONGC has been associated with the publication of the book, which captures the rich biodiversity of our country and spreading awareness about protecting its ecosystem.
CMD, ONGC, D.K. Sarraf said “The expedition of this nature needs enormous courage, conviction and discipline. These are also the basic needs for a company like ONGC where we have to live with and defeat uncertainties” He further added that the team that is going for this expedition has already displayed sheer courage and confidence and most importantly team spirit. We have also planned to train and send teams for Everest Expedition every year.
Director HR D.D. Misra, who is the driving force behind this initiative, outlined various stages of training programme those have been imparted to the participants in the expedition. He said that out of over 150 employees, finally 11 have completed the stringent eligibility criteria for this programme. The ONGC Board of Directors and senior officials from MoPNG and oil PSUs wished the Everest Expedition Team the very best in this challenging endeavor.