The Nagpur Regional Centre of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) felicitated International level young achievers from different fields like mountaineering, ultra marathon runner and archer to mark the National Youth Day. Those felicitated include Ms Jayalakshmi Trinadh Sarikonda, an international archer, who represented India in 20 international competitions, Ashok Munne, ‘One legged wonder of India’, who climbed Mount Everest with his one leg and Atul Choukse, who represented India in the most difficult Moroccan Sahara desert ultra marathon and emerged fifth among contestants from 70 countries.
In the welcome address Dr P Sivaswaroop, Regional Director, IGNOU Nagpur said as per the present trend, youngsters and their parents prefer professional courses like engineering, MBBS etc. However, there are three youngsters, who proved themselves in sports and athletics. He said that this function is aimed at felicitating these young achievers and listening to their experiences. Jayalakshmi and Choukse are IGNOU students, who pursued their passion and IGNOU academic degree simultaneously. All the three were felicitated with shawl, shreefal and momento.
Munne created history and inspired many with his achievements, in spite of his disability. He is the true example of “there can be a physical disability, but no disability should be in your minds,” with his 3000 kms move to Ladakh on his Bike at -200 Celsius, said Dr Sivaswaroop. He is a mountaineer, moto rider, para glider, scuba diver, marathon runner, black belt in martial arts, gymnast, yoga expert, ace swimmer and motivational speaker.
Munne said he came to Nagpur from Katol in 2002 as a taxi driver. With his one leg, he climbed near to Everest and stopped just 350 meters away due to bad weather.
Jayalakshmi from Chandrapur said she was grateful to IGNOU for helping her to be graduate which has made her to get a government job as sports officer. She said that due to her training and competitions, she was constantly trvelling from one place to other in the country. It was because of IGNOU, she could complete her studies without uninterruptedly.
Atul Choukse said that he had to look after his father and started a computer institute by taking loan under Prime Minister Rojgar Yojana Scheme. So, he joined IGNOU’s BPP and now pursuing BCOM.
The programme was attended by Regional Centre staff and Study Centre functionaries. Dr Sasicoumar Brumot, Assistant Regional Director proposed a vote of thanks and Dr Shubhajit Haldar conducted the programme.