Over 1k applications

for the Soul of Steel - Himalayan Challenge 2023

A Strategic Shield takes root along the Uttarakhand Himalayas 

10th March 2023, New Delhi

Indian Army and CLAW Global have received an overwhelming response to its high-altitude skill and endurance training and challenge – Soul of Steel – Himalayan Challenge 2023.

A total of 1,401 applicants including 94 women have applied to get trained and participate in the inaugural Soul of Steel Challenge.

Under Soul of Steel, a joint training team of CLAW GLOBAL and the Indian Army will train a select team of 24 boys and girls in rock craft, ice craft and snow craft, besides navigation, communication, self-defence, survival, and emergency medical skills.

The challenge was launched by the Raksha Mantri on 14th January 2023 in the presence of the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, the Veteran’s Welfare Minister of Uttarakhand, the Chief of Defence Staff and supported by the Skill Ministry and Uttarakhand Tourism Ministry. Soul of Steel – Himalayan Challenge 2023 is the first operation as part of the launch of the Human Ability Biome – Himalayan.

Human Ability Biomes are designed to harmoniously develop remote border area villages as ‘Vibrant Villages’ along the Himalayas from North to Northeast. The Biomes will act as ‘Strategic Shields’ through skilling, education, research, rehabilitation, environmental conservation and adventure sports. CLAW Global has already set up a pilot Aqua Biome in partnership with Auroville near Pondicherry in 2021.

Through Initiatives like Soul of Steel and the Human Ability Biomes, CLAW Global is generating niche and appropriate employment opportunities for veterans of the Indian Armed Forces.

Speaking on the applications, Major. Vivek Jacob (Veteran), CLAW Global’s Founder said, “This reinforces our conviction that there is a huge appetite for adventure sports and life skills among the youth of India. Through Soul of Steel, our efforts are to catalyse their journey towards becoming conscious, productive, and exponential citizens of our country. We look forward to do our bit in showcasing the immense potential of the Indian Himalayas as a global destination for adventure and wellness seekers worldwide.”

The selected participants will commence their training at Nainital on the 01st of April 23. Post that, they will be trained in Advanced skills in the Greater Himalayas (Niti Valley). Post the training lasting almost 10 weeks, the participants shall compete in a High- Altitude Skill and Endurance Challenge wherein they have to cover over 100km through glaciers, ice walls, rock faces, and snow-capped Himalayan peaks upto 6,000 meters in altitude. The participants will be fully self-sustained without porters. Himalayan style.

The Soul of Steel – Himalayan Challenge 2023 is designed as a yearly event in partnership with the Indian Army, across multiple terrains and at various locations along the Himalayas from North to Northeast. “The entire event is being filmed and presented as a series to inspire a global audience”, said Major. Arun Ambathy, Director of CLAW Global.  

The Human Ability Biome and Soul of Steel Challenge will significantly contribute to the effort of the Government of India to reverse migration and support large-scale, specialised skilling and local employment through rapid, organised, and expansive growth of the Tourism and wellness industry.

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