Air Marshal PK Roy Flags off Aaryan’s Kilimanjaro Expedition


Port Blair, Feb. 8: Eight months ago, seven-year-old Aaryan Balaji alongwith his father Cdr KS Balaji (Indian Navy) and mother Riki, trekked to Everest Base Camp and also climbed Mt Kalapattar (17,900 ft) in Nepal and became the youngest in the world to stand on the majestic Himalayan peak. Now, the Naval family from the Andaman & Nicobar Command is gearing up to scale the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Standing at 5895 mtrs / 19,340 feet on Tanzania’s northern border with Kenya, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the world's highest free-standing mountain. Climbing Kilimanjaro doesn’t involve any technical climbing such as fixing ropes or using extreme mountaineering gear, but its high altitude demands climbing with a strategy, caution and very good physical preparation.

In an impressive setting, Air Marshal PK Roy, AVSM VM VSM the Commander-in-Chief, Andaman & Nicobar Command, flagged off Aaryan’s Kilimanjaro Expedition today and handed over the traditional ski pole with our tricolour and the flag of the unified tri services Command to the young boy. The C-in-C was proud that Andaman & Nicobar Command is associated with this expedition and wished Aaryan good luck to reach the highest peaks – not only mountains, but in all his endeavors.

The team comprising 7-year old Aaryan and his parents, will depart Delhi on 15th Feb and after a 25 day African adventure of Kilimanjaro climb, wildlife safari and hot air ballooning will return to India by 10th Mar. This attempt will go down the annals of History as the Youngest in the World to have ever climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and would encourage Kids Adventure in a big way.

It is noteworthy that this young boy, studying in Grade II at Mahatma Gandhi International School (Port Blair), has acted in a Tamil movie, 'Aanandhapurathu Veedu', and some ad films. Aaryan is the youngest recipient of Gandhi Seva Medal and has been recently conferred with the Commendation by the Hon’ble Lieutenant Governor, Andaman & Nicobar Islands on this 26th Jan.