Monday, December 07, 2015

Ready for rock-climbing or beach trekking? Govt to sponsor its employees to tackle “alarming situation of stress”

THE Central government has unveiled a new scheme under which a government employee is eligible to receive up to Rs 20,000 as reimbursement for undertaking one of the adventurous sports such as trekking, mountaineering, rock-climbing, cycling in difficult terrain, skiing, surfing,  boat sailing, rafting, parasailing, balloning, beach trekking, etc. In a DoPT office memorandum (OM) released on Friday, the government said, it is an attempt to tackle “alarming situation of stress” on Central government employees and also to foster...

their spirit of risk-taking abilities. The employees would further be granted special casual leave to undertake those challenges.
The financial assistance will be in the form of reimbursement of travel expenses, programme fee and hiring charges of equipments, according to the DoPT OM. But the maximum ceiling has been fixed at Rs 20,000 per person per camp. The assistance will be limited to one activity in a block period of two years, the OM further said.
Also, the financial assistance of 100% of programme fee would be provided in a calendar year to two officials of each ministry or department who have been awarded by the ministry or the department for excellence in service, according to OM.
While unveiling the scheme “for promotion of adventure sports and similar activities amongst Central government employees”, the DoPT said it recognizes that sports activities play an important role in improving their efficiency and morale. It is expected to foster risk-taking, cooperative team work, capacity of readiness, vital response to challenging situations, endurance and environmental awareness.
“Participation by Central Government employees in adventure sports and similar activities will give them a platform where they would learn lessons from nature and use of knowledge acquired for welfare of society”, the OM also said.
The institutes under which the scheme will be executed include Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi, Uttarakhand; Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports, Manali, Himachal Pradesh; Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering, department of tourism, Gulmarg, Jammu and Kashmir; National Institute of Water Sports, Vasco da Gama, Goa under ministry of tourism; Swami Vivekanand Institute of Mountaineering, Mount Abu, Rajasthan; and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd, Dehradun, Uttarakhand.

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