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Tata Steel Adventure Foundation joins hands with FIT India to launch FIT@50+ Women’s Trans Himalayan Expedition

Jamshedpur, March 08, 2021

~ Expedition to be led by Ms. Bachendri Pal, India’s first woman to scale Mt. Everest ~

~ A unique Expedition with participants aged 50 years and above from across India ~

~ A gift of fitness on International Women’s day ~

Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) is organising a unique expedition titled FIT@50+ Women’s Trans Himalayan Expedition ’21 in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, under the FIT India banner. The expedition is also being supported by Tata Motors and Tata Sports Club as drive and fitness partners respectively.

The expedition will be led by Ms. Bachendri Pal, recipient of Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, legendary mountaineer and the first Indian woman to scale Mt. Everest, and will have participants aged 50 and above from across India.

The team members are drawn from across India comprising retired professionals and homemakers. The 10-member team also comprises three Women Everest Summiteers. The 5-month long expedition involves traversing the Himalaya from Arunachal to Karakoram range (East to West) covering around 4,500 kms and cross about 40 mountain passes. The expedition is expected to begin in the first week of May and will conclude in the second week of October this year.

Ms. Bachendri Pal, Leader of the Expedition and Mentor, TSAF, said: The expedition aims to address the mind set of our society and highlight the need to keep fit and demonstrate that age and gender is no barrier for a fit and a healthy lifestyle. It will also signify women empowerment, leadership, decision making, lifestyle and the importance of fitness for our entire community. What makes this expedition more tough is the long duration of 5 months combined with multiple challenges including emotional, social, mental factors, physical fatigue and weather constraints, and all these put together make Fit@50+ women’s Trans Himalayan expedition a unique one."

Ms. Pal also emphasised the importance of embracing risk and firmly believes that the biggest risk in life is not taking the risk.

Chanakya Chaudhary, Vice President (Corporate Services), Tata Steel, said: “For more than three and a half decades, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation has played a pioneering role in creating an environment of equal opportunity and empowerment of women. The FIT@50+ Women’s Trans Himalayan Expedition is yet another unique initiative that will push this agenda a step further by reaching out to women aged 50 years and above to become part of a movement that will also prepare them to challenge physical and social stereotypes. The entire family of Tata Steel stands behind this amazing journey they are about to embark on and wish the very best for a resounding success.”

Trekking to the frosty peaks of the Himalayas and absorbing its beauty is any one's dream. The journey is demanding. It requires grit and stamina to overcome multiple challenges in inclement weather and tough terrain. The Himalayan journey demands and moulds the psychological, emotional, and physical challenges and strengthens the ‘can do’ spirit.

As the life span has increased globally, it has become important to engage the 50 and above aged people in various activities effectively. The expedition will inspire and motivate women of all age groups to include fitness activities in their daily lives to stay healthy. In the Covid-19 pandemic era, women’s health and fitness plays a key role both in the families and towards nation building. The expedition will provide a hope and create a new path for senior citizens, including 50+ or even 60+, to pursue their dreams.

The 10-member team will commence the journey of an ultimate human endurance starting from the misty mountains of Arunachal Pradesh at Bomdila and then enter Bhutan. From there, the expedition will traverse through Bhutan cross over into Sikkim and cover chitrey, Kala Pokhari and Sandakphu. The team will then move into Nepal, where the route enters Dhaulagiri range and cover Salpa Pass, Lamajura Pass and also cross Thorang la (17,769 ft) around Annapurna Massif. From Western Nepal, the trail goes from Jumla and enters Kumaon district in Uttarakhand at Dharchula. From here, the expedition will cross Lamkhaga Pass (17,320 ft) - one of the toughest passes, which connects Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh with Harshil of Uttarakhand. The team will then traverse to Himachal. From here, they will trek through Spiti to cross Kaza, Kibber and cross Parang La (18,307 ft). The expedition will conclude in the Leh-Ladakh region where the team will cross Khardungla (18,380 ft), Saser La (17,753 ft), Depsang La (17,869 ft) and finish at Karakoram Pass (18,175 ft).

The 10-member team include Ms. Bachendri Pal, Leader (67- Jamshedpur-Jharkhand), Chetna Sahoo (54-Kolkata-West Bengal), Savita Dhapwal (52-Bhilai-Chhattisgarh), Shamala Padmanabhan (64-Mysuru-Karnataka), Gangorti Soneji (62-Baroda-Gujarat), Chaula Jagirdar (63-Palanpur-Gujarat), Payo Murmu (53-Jamshedpur-Jharkhand), Dr. Sushma Bissa (55-Bikaneer -Rajashtan), Maj. Krishna Dubey (59-Lucknow-UP), and Bimbla Deoskar (55- Nagpur-Maharashtra).

The 3-member Support Team includes Mohan Rawat (41), Amla Rawat (47) and Randev Singh (30), all from Uttarakhand.

About TSAF

Founded by legendary mountaineer Ms Bachendri Pal, first Indian woman to climb Mt Everest on May 23, 1984 Tata Steel Adventure Foundation is an outbound leadership institute which through its wide range of activities aims at developing able leaders for the future through identification of their limits of mental and physical endurance. It allows people from all walks of life and all ages to choose their own metaphor for self-discovery. True to its philosophy of experimental learning, TSAF believes that no classroom is better than nature and no teacher is better than your own will.

In addition to TSAF outbound leadership program, several other courses are conducted by TSAF like horse riding, parasailing, water sports, sport climbing, rock climbing and many others. Each course is a certification course thereby giving a sense of fulfilment and achievement at the end of it.

About Tata Steel

Tata Steel group is among the top global steel companies with an annual crude steel capacity of 34 million tonnes per annum. It is one of the world's most geographically-diversified steel producers, with operations and commercial presence across the world. The group (excluding SEA operations) recorded a consolidated turnover of US $19.7 billion in the financial year ending March 31, 2020.

A Great Place to Work-Certified organisation, Tata Steel Ltd., together with its subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, is spread across five continents with an employee base of over 65,000.

Tata Steel has been a part of the DJSI Emerging Markets Index since 2012 and has been consistently ranked amongst top 5 steel companies in the DJSI Corporate Sustainability Assessment since 2016. Besides being a member of ResponsibleSteelTM and worldsteel’s Climate Action Programme, Tata Steel has won several awards and recognitions including the World Economic Forum’s Global Lighthouse recognition for its Kalinganagar Plant - a first in India, and Prime Minister’s Trophy for the best performing integrated steel plant for 2016-17. The Company, ranked as India’s most valuable Metals & Mining brand by Brand Finance, received the ‘Honourable Mention’ at the National CSR Awards 2019, Steel Sustainability Champion 2019 by worldsteel, CII Greenco Star Performer Award 2019, ‘Most Ethical Company’ award 2020 from Ethisphere Institute, Best Risk Management Framework & Systems Award (2020) by CNBC TV-18, and Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting FY20 by ICAI, among several others.

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Statements in this press release describing the Company’s performance may be “forward looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws and regulations. Actual results may differ materially from those directly or indirectly expressed, inferred or implied. Important factors that could make a difference to the Company’s operations include, among others, economic conditions affecting demand/supply and price conditions in the domestic and overseas markets in which the Company operates, changes in or due to the environment, Government regulations, laws, statutes, judicial pronouncements and/or other incidental factors.

Sarvesh Kumar

Chief, Corporate Communications

Tata Steel