New Delhi [India]: A 20-member team of Indian Army and Indian Air Force led by women officers set off on a cycling expedition from Delhi to Drass valley in the Kargil district of Ladakh on Saturday to commemorate India’s 75 years of Independence.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the expedition was flagged off jointly by Lieutenant General MU Nair, Signal Officer-in-Chief and Senior Colonel Commandant, Corps of Signals and Air Marshal R Radhish, Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Air Command from National War Memorial in New Delhi today. The cyclists will then face the daunting task of covering 1600 km in 24 days, culminating at the Kargil War Memorial in Drass on July 25 to commemorate, a fitting tribute to the brave martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice during the Kargil War.
The broader aim of the expedition will be to bolster the energy of the young Indians towards nationalism as the cyclists will be interacting with school children at various stages enroute. They will act as a beacon to channelize the immeasurable enthusiasm and zeal of the future leaders of the country.
The team of cyclists will be led by Major Srishti Sharma of Corps of Signals.
Major Srishti is a second-generation officer who was awarded the Chief of Integrated Staff Commendation Card in 2019 for her contribution to various technical-based intelligence operations.
“Currently posted in Delhi, she was awarded the Vice Chief of Air Staff Commendation Card in 2021 for her contribution in air defence communication aspects during National events like Republic Day and Independence Day,” the ministry said.
Spearheading the team from Indian Air Force is Squadron Leader Maneka who has served as the Logistics Officer in Bidar, Gwalior and Devlali during her span of 10 years in service. Currently serving in Air Force Station Kalaikunda, she was awarded the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Central Air Command Commendation Card in 2016 for her exceptional handling and speedy resolution of various logistics issues at Gwalior Air Force Station, it added.
She is an avid sports enthusiast and has taken part in a number of cycling expeditions organised by Indian Air Force.
The expedition will pedal its way through Punjab before entering Himachal Pradesh. The expedition will face insurmountable challenges against rising terrain and scarcity of oxygen when they progress towards Ladakh.
Preparation and training had commenced early on to prepare the team for this monumental challenge. The team had a graduated practice schedule which helped them to build up on their endurance and stamina.
Flagging in of the team at Drass will be carried out by Lieutenant General Upendra Dwivedi and General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command.