SRIKAKULAM: A 20-year-old tribal girl from the Agency area of the district seeks financial support from the State government to accomplish her dream of conquering Mount Kilimanjaro. Kondagorri Renuka from Nulakajodu village in Bhamini mandal, which comes under the limits of Seethampeta Integrated Tribal Development Agency, has been selected for the Kilimanjaro expedition, which is scheduled from January 19-28 through Transcend Adventures. She has to pay Rs 3 lakh for travel expenses and equipment to take part in the mountaineering expedition.
Daughter of Sanjeeva Rao and Krishnaveni, who are agriculture workers, Renuka is not in a position to join the team due to financial constraints. Now, she is working as a salesgirl in a shopping mall for a living.
Renuka was selected for climbing Mt Everest in 2018 while she was studying Intermediate second year in Seethampeta government junior college. She had successfully completed three-stage training for the expedition at Vijayawada, Darjeeling and Ladakh. Later, she had taken part in the mountaineering expedition along with her team members.
However, their trekking expedition was stopped after reaching a height of 7,900 metres out of the total 8,848 metres due to bad weather. Though she missed an opportunity to achieve her goal in mountaineering, Renuka won accolades from Srikakulam district and Seethampeta ITDA officials for her attempt to climb Mount Everest.
After that, she studied Bachelor of Physical Education (PET training) in West Godavari district to sustain her physical fitness and completed it just three months ago. At a time she was looking for an opportunity in mountaineering, Hyderabad-based Transcend Adventures had selected her for the Kilimanjaro expedition.
“I was asked to pay Rs 3 lakh for travel expenses. I could not mobilise Rs 3 lakh despite my best efforts. ‘’ Renuka said, adding that she even met District Collector Shrikesh B Latkhar during Spandana seeking financial aid. As she could not find a way out and was vexed with all her attempts proving futile, she joined as a salesgirl in a shopping mall for a salary of Rs 9,000 to help her parents run the family.
“I joined Bachelor of Physical Education instead of general graduation to sustain my physical fitness to participate in mountaineering in future. Though I got the opportunity to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, my financial status is not supporting me to join the expedition team. I could not find any PET job in private and government institutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So I have joined as a salesgirl,’’ she told TNIE. “I have a dream to hoist the Indian national flag on Mount Kilimanjaro. If the government extends help, I will show the mettle of tribal girls,’’ Renuka said.