Central government employees will now enjoy adventure tourism, under special casual leave, granted by the Government of India. The scheme will entitle 50 lakh central government employees to government-sponsored adventure activities such as skiing, trekking, rock-climbing, terrain cycling, rafting, jungle and desert safari, parasailing, mountaineering and environmental awareness camps.
The measure, taken by Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is aimed at creating and fostering the siprit of risk-taking, teamwork, readiness and endurance. It will also help employees to tackle with stress.
Under the initiative, five to seven days’ programmes will be sponsored by the government, at six DoPT approved institutes: Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarakhand; Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Himachal Pradesh; Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, Jammu and Kashmir; National Institute of Water Sports, Goa; Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering, Rajasthan; and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam, Uttarakhand.
While welcoming the idea, Sandeep Kulshreshtha, director, National Institute of Watersports, said, “The government’s scheme will boost the number of participants, which will strenghen our institute economically. The government has realised that these activities are beneficial for their employees’ health and performance. In the recent years, people have started gaining interest in adventure sports and adventure tourism is flourishing.”
“As the number of participants will increase, we will need to handle our resources more efficiently. We are looking forward to receiving aid from the government in terms of equipment, accomodation of participants and man power,” he added.
GM Dar, skiing and mountaineering expert from Gulmarg, said, “We have the the setup of equipment required for skiing and mountaineering; we also have technical expertise of intructors, so we can help with the resources that we have.”
Expense of INR 20,000 will be reimbursed by the government to help them participate in the programmes. Whereas, 100 per cent financial assistance will be provided to two officials of each department who have been awarded for excellence in service and are nominated for the programme.