Monday, 7 January 2013

Kailash Manasarovar Yatra 2013 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Dear Applicants/Yatris, Many of us may have lot of doubts/queries regarding the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. As the Schedule,Duration and Online/Offline application dates have been released by Ministry of External Affairs for the Yatra 2015, some of the common queries with answers are presented here. 

If any more queries related to yatra, may be directly mail to  kmyatra@mea.gov.in and dsjk@mea.gov.in
Most Frequently Asked Questions about KMY-2015:
Q.1. Why are applicants required to submit medical test results with their application forms when only the reports and results of medical examinations, subsequently conducted on selected yatris at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base Hospital in Delhi in May 2015 onwards, will be considered valid? Which are these interim medical tests and where should applicants get medically examined to obtain such initial medical test reports/results to be submitted with the application forms?

Ans. Given the extremely arduous nature of the Yatra, only those who are physically fit and healthy should apply for selection. In order to prejudge his/her fitness for the Yatra, an applicant is advised to undergo the following medical tests at any competent health centre(s) of choice, and submit medical results with his/her application: (i) TMT (Tread Mill Stress Test), (ii) Blood Pressure, and (iii) Blood Sugar levels for both Fasting and Non-Fasting conditions. However, the selected applicants will be required to undergo and qualify comprehensive medical examinations, conducted at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base Hospital in New Delhi in May 2012 onwards, before they are allowed to undertake the Yatra proper.

Q.2 Are foreigners with PIO/OCI status eligible to undertake the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra-2015?
  
Ans. An Indian citizen, holding a valid Indian passport and aged at least 18 years and below 70 years as on 01.01.2015, is eligible to apply for the Yatra. Those who hold foreign nationalities are not eligible. PIO/OCI card holders are, thus, ineligible.

Q.3 Similar yatras are conducted by other private agencies, which complete in only 14 days. What is the difference between the one conducted by the Government of India and those conducted by private agencies? 

Ans. The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, conducted by the Government of India, has a specific surface route that starts and ends in New Delhi and takes about 27 days to cover the whole Yatra proper. It involves trekking at high altitudes of up to 19,500 feet, under inhospitable conditions, including extreme cold and rugged terrain, and may prove hazardous for those who are not physically fit and medically healthy. The Yatra affords to its yatris sufficient period of time to gradually acclimatize to withstand the inhospitable conditions en route, as hasty ascent to high altitudes may cause severe high altitude sicknesses, which can prove life threatening. In addition, the Yatra requires 3-4 days to be spent in New Delhi for completing various formalities. Also, yatris traverse through numerous touristic and religious places known for picturesque, scenic and the mesmerizing beauty all over the world at affordable costs. Offering splendid views of mountain peaks and famed flora of Kumaon region of Uttrakhand, the route boasts of unspoilt and thrilling nature, religious value, cultural significance, and physical beauty.

Q.4 Is there any subsidy given to Kailash Manasarovar Pilgrims? 

Ans. No. A few of our States – including Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand – of their own, directly provide varied sums of money to their residents to cover a part of their Yatra expenses of about Rs.1,50,000/-. Ministry of External Affairs, besides supporting some of the arrangements, pays a limited amount of money per yatri to KMVN, which provides logistical support to yatris in India. For estimated expenditure per yatri, please visit: http://kmy-2012.webstarts.com/fees_and_expenditure.html

Q.5 If the spouse has also filled the form, he/she will directly be selected if the other member is selected through the computerized draw of lots. If one of the members fails in the medical examination at Gunji, will both be disallowed to go further or the one who fails? 

Ans. The yatri who fails the medical examination at Gunji will be disallowed to proceed further.  

Q.6 I was Liaison Officer to the Yatra-1999. Can I again become a part of the Yatra as LO or yatri? 

Ans. No. A person who has gone on the Yatra as Liaison Officer or as a yatri in any year prior to this year will not be considered for selection. 

Q.7 Are officers posted in Indian Missions abroad eligible to be appointed as Liaison Officers? If an officer were to move abroad after selection as LO, will he/she still be eligible to officiate as LO?

 Ans. There is nothing on record to prohibit the members of the Indian Missions/Posts abroad from being appointed as LOs. EA Division would require administrative sanction before an officer is considered for an interview for selection as LO. In the eventuality of moving abroad on a foreign assignment after selection as LO, the selected LO will need additional clearance from HOM and Ministry before performing his/her duty as LO. The Yatra proper requires 27 days to complete. In addition, 3-4 days are required to be spent in Delhi to complete various formalities - medical examinations, Chinese visa, etc.

Q.8 Are the food and accommodation arrangements made during the Yatra? What is the estimated expenditure per yatri? 

Ans. On the Indian side of the Yatra, KMVN makes the transport, logistical and food arrangements. In Tibet, the Chinese authorities provide transport and logistical support. For estimated expenditure details on transport, food and accommodation, please visit: http://kmy2012.webstarts.com/uploads/KMY-Expn-Yatri-LO.pdf. The entire Indian sector is covered in the cost shown in the chart for food and accommodation.

Q.9 If the Body Mass Index (BMI) of a person is over 27, will he/she be rejected in medical test? 

Ans. Fitness for the Yatra depends on many other factors of one’s health. If a person is otherwise found fit and healthy after comprehensive medical examinations, doctors should not be much rigid about his/her BMI. Nevertheless, one should try, in the meanwhile, to bring down the BMI level to 27 or less to add to one’s overall fitness. 

Q.10 Is Mount Kailash Parikrama the only form of trekking involved in the Yatra? Or, is there any additional trekking involved during the entire Yatra?

Ans. There is a trekking of about 200 km during the whole Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. For details, please visit: http://kmy-2012.webstarts.com/uploads/KMY_2012-Itinerary.pdf 

Q.11 Why are yatris required to undergo and qualify detailed medical examinations at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base Hospital? 

Ans. Yatris are required to trek through high altitude areas. In such places, the atmospheric air is under low pressure and people suffer due to effect of Hypoxia (low level of oxygen). In the rarefied atmospheric conditions, a yatri may develop diseases like pulmonary edema/cerebral edema and acute mountain sickness, etc. Individuals who are suffering from coronary artery diseases, various lung diseases like bronchial asthma, hypertension and diabetes, may collapse and die. As such, yatris are screened thoroughly before they are inducted into high altitudes. 

Q.12 Will the medical examinations, conducted at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base Hospital, guarantee that yatris will not suffer from pulmonary oedema, etc?

Ans. No. Any of the yatris may still become a victim of high altitude diseases. 

Q.13 Is there any age factor for yatris? 

Ans. It is recommended that no one should be inducted into high altitudes after the age of 70 years, as one cannot generally acclimatise properly and cope with the stress at such advanced age. It is also observed that some young persons in age group of 19-30 years are more prone to high altitude diseases than persons in older age groups. 

Q.14 Why are younger persons more prone to HAPE? 

Ans. Exact cause is not known. It is believed that younger persons are less inclined to respect the rules of acclimatization due to a false sense of bravado. 

Q.15 If a yatri has been to high altitude previously and had an uneventful stay there, does he still need to undergo the prescribed medical examinations?

Ans. That is all the more reason for the detailed medical examinations, as it is seen that persons who are inducted second or third time are more prone to high altitude diseases than the first timers. 

Q.16 How can one become a fit yatri?

 Ans. A yatri should be free from all major ailments like heart diseases, asthma, epilepsy, diabetes, hypertension, menstrual disorders, cancers, etc. Yatris are advised to bring their weight to average standards, exercise regularly, do breathing exercises, and quit tobacco, alcohol, etc. A doctor may be consulted to rule out any major ailments that may render one unfit for the Yatra. 

Q.17 Are the medical examinations carried out at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base Hospital in New Delhi, the only medical examinations that the yatris have to undergo and qualify? 

Ans. No. Yatris are put to another medical test at Gunji, which is located at an altitude of 3,220 metres, to assess body reaction to high altitude. Only those yatris who are found fit there, are allowed to proceed further. Also, to prejudge their fitness for the Yatra, applicants are required to undergo tests for Tread Mill Stress Test, Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar for Fasting and Non-Fasting conditions at competent health centres of the ir choice and submit these medical test results with their application forms for the Yatra. 

Q.18 What happens if a yatri falls sick en route?

 Ans. If a yatri suffers from minor ailments, there are medical and paramedical staffs on the Indian side to provide relief. ITBP is well-equipped and has HAPO bags where inside pressure can be equal or more than sea level. But should a yatri suffer from any major health problem, he/she may need to be evacuated to a hospital by helicopter at his/her own cost. However, due to administrative procedure involving the Chinese side and due to difficult climatic and geographical conditions, such evacuation from the Chinese side may take time – at least 48 hours. Therefore, yatris should ensure that they are truly confident of their health and physical fitness before they undertake this Yatra. 

Q.19 Should yatris carry the prescribed medicines, which they have been taking regularly on the advice of their doctors? 

Ans. Yes. Yatris are advised to take sufficient stock of their medicines to last the entire duration of the Yatra. They may discuss this matter with the ITBP doctors also. 

Q.20 Do yatris need to pay for the medical tests at the ITBP Base Hospital in New Delhi and at Gunji? 

Ans. No. As a courtesy, ITBP administers these tests entirely free of charge. 

Q.21 Why does Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam Limited (KMVN) charge non-refundable amount of Rs.5,000/- from yatris? 

Ans. KMVN provides logistical support to yatris on the Indian side of the Yatra. They make arrangements for food, shelter, security, medical attendance, transportation, guide, porters, etc, well in advance at a cost.. As a result, even if one does not perform the Yatra eventually, the expenditure cannot be reimbursed. 

Q.22 Why are the medical reports by other Government and Private hospitals not accepted to qualify for the Yatra? 

Ans. The Kailash Manasarovar Yatra is very arduous and physically challenging Yatra. Yatris have to pass through areas which are as high as 19,500 feet in altitude under inhospitable conditions. There is a danger to person’s life. Keeping in view the special requirements of the Yatra, yatris are required to undergo and qualify special tests at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base hospital in New Delhi. The reports of other hospitals are not accepted to ensure that yatris undergo uniform medical examinations of the best quality tailored for the requirements of the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra, so as to ensure safety and well-being of yatris. 

Q.23 If any yatri is rejected on medical ground, can he/she be considered for a subsequent batch on recovery from the medical conditions? Ans. No. The Kailash-Manasarovar region hardly has any satisfactory medical facilities and it is very difficult to airlift a person to India for immediate specialized medical treatment. Therefore, as a measure of caution and prudence, if a yatri is once declared medically unfit, he/she is not allowed to participate in the Yatra during that year in his/her own interest. Q.24 Do NGOs and voluntary organizations have any role to play in Kailash Manasarovar Yatra organized by the Ministry of External Affairs? 

Ans. NGOs and voluntary organizations play important role in any society with regard to dissemination of information and aid related work. It is up to the individual yatri to accept their help. The Ministry of External Affairs does not appoint or authorize any NGO or voluntary organizations for the work relating to the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. 

Q.25 What are the parameters for selection of yatris? 

Ans. An Indian citizen, holding a valid Indian passport and aged at least 18 years and below 70 years as on 01.01.2012, is eligible to apply for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. Those who hold foreign nationalities are not eligible. PIO/OCI card holders are, thus, ineligible. Yatris are selected through a computer-generated random gender-balanced selection process. After the selected yatris report for the Yatra in New Delhi, they are required to undergo and qualify thorough medical examinations at the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute and the ITBP Base Hospital in New Delhi. The parameters of medical examinations are decided by the ITBP Base Hospital keeping in mind the requirements of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra. Yatris are put to another medical test at Gunji, which is located on way at an altitude of 3,220 metres, to assess body reaction to high altitude. Only those yatris who are found fit there, are allowed to proceed further. Also, to prejudge their fitness for the Yatra, applicants are required to undergo tests for Tread Mill Stress Test, Blood Pressure and Blood Sugar for Fasting and Non-Fasting conditions at competent health centres of their choice before applying for the Yatra, and submit these medical test results with their application forms by the last date.
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