Stay At Home During Lockdown And The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Might Hand You A Free Trip To Darjeeling!The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (Flickr) 

Competitors will have to upload videos of their activities at home on the Facebook page of the HMI every day starting from March 28 to April 14.

Here is one more reason to stay at home during the ongoing nationwide lockdown.

The Darjeeling-based Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) has launched a ‘21 Day Big Boss Indoor Challenge’ with attractive prizes for the winners in order to motivate people to stay at home now.

The HMI, which is funded by the Ministry of Defence (MoD), offers the innovative online challenge to two categories of people: HMI course participants and the ‘open’ category for which any Indian citizen is eligible.

HMI Principal Group Captain Jai Kishan said that the first prize for participants in the ‘Open’ category is a free five night trip to Darjeeling.

“Competitors will have to upload videos of their activities at home on the Facebook page of the HMI every day starting from March 28 to April 14. The participant needs to provide his or her personal and contact details,” said the HMI principal.

The person who posts the best video or various innovative and fun activities, as well as group activities along with family members, every day, will win a five night trip to Darjeeling. The HMI will host the winner in Darjeeling at any date of his or her choice.

The second prize is three-night stay at the HMI while the third prize winner will get a HMI tracksuit. All participants will get HMI certificates. The top ten participants will also get mementoes and badges.

The challenge was initially designed for students of the basic mountaineering course and ‘search & rescue course’ who are currently stuck in HMI due to the lockdown to keep them occupied. “But we thought that it would be a good way to motivate all countrymen to stay indoors and so extended the challenge to everyone,” said the HMI principal.

Apart from posting videos, people can also write about their experiences during the lockdown, inspiring stories of the lockdown, lockdown-related poems and even painting and cartoons related to lockdown and mail them to hmidarj@gmail.com. All of them will get HMI souvenirs and other goodies.

The best entries in each category will be published in the HMI journal and the winners will get free copies of the Institute’s journal for five years.

The HMI was set up on the initiative of then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Bengal Chief Minister Dr Bidhan Chandra Ray on November 4, 1954, immediately after the scaling of Mount Everest by the Sir Edmund Hillary-Tenzing Norgay duo in 1953. The HMI is India’s premier mountaineering institute.

Norgay was the Institute's first director of field training and served in that post till May 1976. He was succeeded to that post by Nawang Gombu, the first man to scale Mount Everest twice.

The HMI, which has trained more than 47,000 trekkers and mountaineers, has conducted many successful expeditions to all the peaks in the world.

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