My name is Gautam Atmakuri. I am originally from Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh, India. Currently, I live and work in New Zealand.
Please watch the below video about Jyothi Raj before reading further to know what this fundraiser project is about.
He was also featured in Stan Lee's Superhuman series:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVXtb8pLP7A - life story in 3 mins
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nery6xJvrgg - climbing video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd2byUZfjrc& - climbing waterfalls upstream
Why am I doing this?
Jyothi Raju's personal story, his passion for rock climbing, his humanitarian efforts retrieving dead bodies at Jog Falls, his selfless service and training to help local kids enter the sport of rock climbing and most importantly his vision for India to get a Gold medal in the 2020 Olympics in rock climbing has moved me a lot and I wanted to help him in some way. After thinking for a few months about how to help him, I came across Milaap and want to raise funds here.
About Jyothi Raj
Jyothi Raj, or Kothi Raj, or Monkey Man, is a self-trained rock climber, who is famous for scaling the Chitradurga fort and also Jog Falls without safety measures.
My conversation with Jyothi Raj:
During my 2 hour conversation with Jyothi Raj I came to know a few things which I am sharing below. Please note these are just my personal viewpoints and are in no way pointing blame to anybody for that matter. I just want to provide more context to this project and paint a real picture of how things are and how people mindsets are and what made me start this project:
Jyothi Raj recently got injured while trying to recover a dead body form Jog Falls and fell from a height of almost 300 ft. He broke several bones and became unconscious. The next day he became conscious and he temporarily set his bones and climbed down safely. Later, he was taken to the hospital for proper treatment. Jyothi Raj showed me all the injuries, the rods in his body, the number of bones he broke, his before after photos and also, as a result of this, what tricks he can and cannot do while rock climbing despite all this, he still climbs the fort walls like a breeze as if nothing has happened. His determination, his will power, and his courage are fascinating and inspirational to many. Just Google "Jyothi Raj Jog Falls Accident" and read news from a lot of reputed media sources for more details.
Jyothi Raj has climbed the Jog Falls 11 times through different routes and even climbed in a direction opposite to the flow of water. He has been retrieving the dead bodies of people who commit suicides at the Jog Falls. He has retrieved over 35 bodies.
Now, I personally can understand if someone is willing to risk his/her life in order to save somebody (kind of a like a rescue mission), but knowing that the person is already dead and does it just for the sake of showing the face of the deceased to the family members for one last time and give the dead a proper funeral, Jyothi Raj is risking his life everytime. Who on earth would do this? This man is a LEGEND! Hats off brother!
Also, I think Jyothi Raj is not getting the attention he should be getting because we Indians do not give a damn about any other sport other than Cricket! Who knew about Dhangal girls or Meri Kom or Milka Singh before the movies? Jyothi Raj and his dream of bringing Gold to India is exactly like the above stories.
Moreover, during my conversation with Jyothi Raj, he explained to me how he gets second-hand climbing shoes from foreign travellers and how he re-uses them by fixing with recycled rubber/tyres. He also built a small indoor climbing wall with local wood and stone cuts in a crude way to train his students.
Also to the donors, who want to get an understanding about the world of rock climbing and see where Jyothi Raj fits at international level is that I would say he is as good as Alex Honnold from the below TED talk. I am sure he can be the best coach for our youth who want to get into sport climbing!
Just one more video about Sport Climbing that is being introduced in the Summer 2020 Olympics, the funding details are after this video. :)
Why Jyothi Raj needs funds:
To build a better training facility with locally available tools at a much cheaper cost and also meet the international standards for indoor rock/sport climbing.
Extra funds will be used for buying rock climbing shoes
Something like these (https://www.trekkinn.com/outdoor-mountain/la-sportiva-solution/136688721/p)
Please be part of Jyothi Raj's dream of winning India a Gold Medal in 2020 Olympics and further! Thank you.
We will keep updating the project page with latest photos etc. This is my first fundraising project so please excuse errors. Namaste!