Saturday, February 09, 2008

Sikkim youths drawn to mountaineering for employment

By Tashi Pradhan, Gangtok (Sikkim), Feb.9 : Decked up in their mountaineering gear to scale snow-capped Himalayas, many young people in Sikkim are taking to mountaineering to carve out a career for themselves. They want to utilize the State’s potential in adventure tourism for employment.

Department of Tourism in the State is offering training to such youths in the basic skills of mountaineering and be a help in boosting employment opportunities here.

The objective of the training programme is to build a team of educated young mountaineering guides which would ultimately help them in promotion of adventure tourism in Sikkim besides broadening avenues of employment.

"We have joined this (mountaineering) training because there is opportunity and facility. There is Kunchenjunga in Sikkim and we want to become tourist guides. We have facilities here and this will help us earn good money," said Tenzin Tamang, one of the mountaineering trainees.

Dawa Tamang, another trainee, said: "In Sikkim, very few people are employed. There is a good scope for mountaineering here but there is shortage of guides. So, I have decided that after finishing my schooling I will take up mountaineering professionally."

Sikkim is located in the main Himalayan range with majestic Mt. Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world lying in its southwestern part.

Sikkim has the privilege of being one of the few unspoilt places in Himalayas and is ensconced between Tibet in the north, Bhutan in the east and Nepal in the west.

--- ANI