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Bengaluru students conquer Kilimanjaro

At Indus international Schools, education goes beyond the classroom. It was a fitting example to its education ideology when four of the school’s students recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak of Africa and one of the seven summits of the world. The peak is called Uhuru Peak and is 5,895 meters (19,341 feet) high from the ground. This is the first ever expedition where girls from Indus International Schools reached to the summit.

It was a 10 day expedition organized by the school “Peak to Lead” from January 18, 2019. A group of 11 students, with six girls and 5 boys that perceived through a treacherous night-long trek. The four students who reached the peak were Sahaat Poddar of Grade 8, Geetha Damarapati of Grade 11, Saniya Patel of Grade 11 and Prerna Agarwal of Grade 11.

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The students belonged to Grade 8 and above, with most of them from Indus International School, Bengaluru and just one from the Hyderabad branch.

“I was determined to reach the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, come what may. At the moments of doubt, our teachers and guides kept our spirit high, making the climb seem like merely a ‘matter of effort and discipline’. This is a dream come true, indeed. I believe that this is the best way to learn about setting and achieving challenging goals and learn the value of human life. I am grateful for being alive”, said an ecstatic Prerna Agarwal.

Mitesh Singh, the expedition-in-charge and trainer at the Indus School of Leadership, and in-house training institute at the school, said, “Adversity can be quite revealing. It reveals the true qualities of a human being. It can also teach us some important lessons about ourselves and others – giving us the skills to succeed in other aspects of our lives. Indus believes empowering their students within the qualities of grit, resilience and goal mindedness. The expedition to Kilimanjaro was one such endeavor.”

From humid rainforests to rainy grasslands to windy Alpine desserts and finally the snow-capped peak, the young team encountered various severe situations such as climatic fluctuations, sub-zero temperatures and altitude sickness. But nothing deterred their will.

The last leg of the trek which was the steep climb to the summit happened at midnight. It not only tested the students’ physical strength but their mental endurance as well.

“Mountaineering is a spiritual sport that teaches the best leadership lessons and demands conquering the inner world. During the climb, the students faced extreme conditions – the weather was rough, unpredictable and chilling cold – but they overcame all the adversaries and focused on their goal, eventually reaching the mountain peak. We believe that leadership is about learning to lead yourself first and then the others; and it is best learnt through such experiences”, informed Colonel Sathya Rao (Director, Indus School of Leadership).

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