By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 8 Jun: On 14 April, 2022, a message was received from our Josephite Wing Commander Vikrant Uniyal, who belongs to the batch of 1997.
It is said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and Vikrant took his first step on 5 April to climb Mt Everest.
On 22 May, Wg Cdr Uniyal conquered Mount Everest in his first attempt!
It took 57 years for the second Josephite to achieve this feat. Josephite Major HPS Ahluwalia conquered Mount Everest in 1965!
Vikrant was felicitated by his Alma Mater and the SJA Alumni Association on 7 June.
He presented as a simple down-to-earth person letting his laurels talk about him.
Association patron Principal Brother Jeyaseelan along with Vice Principal Brother Astinus warmly welcomed him.
Council members spoke of his glorious career and after a short introduction, Wg Cdr Vikrant Uniyal was invited to address the gathering which consisted of the Principal, Vice Principal, Senior Coordinators, ex-teachers, Senior Alumni, and Managing Committee members.
Wg Cdr Uniyal said he would rather prefer dialogue instead of a monologue.
The students were forthcoming and immediately asked him what keeps motivating him. They appreciated and how he sang the national anthem and the school song on Mount Everest, without the support of oxygen!
Questioned on the lessons he learned while being trained at NDA, Khadakvasla, and as a fighter pilot, he stated that the Special Forces gave him the self-confidence to do some extraordinary things in his life. By climbing Everest he went on to cement his belief in himself.
He told students that the only way to be more powerful was “Precision beats Power and Timing beats Speed”. He went on to tell students that “Vision and Purpose” are the driving force to achieve set targets.
As he signed off, Principal Brother Jeyaseelan S presented him with a memento and stated how moved he was he heard the School Song being sung on Mount Everest.
Thereafter, the President of SJA Alumni Association, Praveen Chandhok, proposed the vote of thanks. He told students that the biggest lesson learned was – “Attitude determines Altitude”.
Speaking of the challenges faced by mountaineers he described that it consisted of – altitude sickness, avalanches, falling ice, falling rocks, crevasses and so much more… and to be there on the summit requires days and days of practice, physical and mental strength, knowledge of terrains, an understanding of weather, skill and endless determination.
He presented a memento to Wg Cdr Vikrant Uniyal and individual mementos to all the ex-teachers who were present. Kiran Ghosh, Anita Bhatia and Yasmin Lal were the recipients, while Abha Bansal, daughter of SK Gupta, received the memento on behalf of her father.