Biography

Savneel Sangeet Kumar, born 4 May 1990, is a Fijian mountaineer, teacher, politician and philanthropist. He is the President of Fiji Mountaineering and Climbing Association, and Sport Climbing Fiji.

Born and raised in Sigatoka, Fiji, Savneel was educated at Tuva Primary School and Nadroga Arya College. He is in progress with a master’s degree in linguistics, and a master’s degree in Hindi. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Hindi from the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

Savneel is a vivid mountaineer. His interest in mountaineering developed when he first went to India in the year 2011. Since then, he has scaled more than thirty-five +5000-meter peaks situated in various of India’s Himalaya ranges, and several other lower peaks.

Savneel is the first Fijian to have completed the Basic Mountaineering Course from the prestigious Himalayan Mountaineering Institute based in Darjeeling, India. The basic course was conducted by the Indian Army and were mentally and physically challenging due to the rigorous nature of military training programs. He studied and attained basic techniques and skills in mountaineering which included rock climbing, ice climbing, aid climbing, climbing knots, rappelling, jumaring, cramponing, crevasse rescue system and self-arrest systems. He also studied theoretical aspects of mountaineering which included mountain first aid, high altitude health and safety, expedition planning and mountain fauna and flora. The basic course was carried out in Western Sikkim, located in the Indian Himalayas. The base camp for the basic course was at Rathong Glaciers (5,180m), where he learnt most of the techniques of snow and ice craft, culminating in a high-altitude trek to Renok Peak (5,200 meters).

On 17 February 2018, Savneel with twenty-five other mountaineers from Fiji and Australia established the Fiji Mountaineering and Climbing Association. He is serving as the Association’s President since establishment.

Later in 2018, the Fiji National Sports Commission, which is the statutory body for sports in Fiji, recognized the Fiji Mountaineering and Climbing Association as the national sports organization for mountaineering in Fiji.

On 20 August 2020, Savneel founded the Sport Climbing Fiji, which represents Fiji in the International Federation of Sport Climbing, and the Oceania Council for Sport Climbing. He is serving as the President of Sport Climbing Fiji since establishment.

In April 2021, Savneel was elected to the Executive Board of the Oceania Council for Sport Climbing.

Savneel had planned to trek the Mount Everest South and North Base Camps via Mount Kailash Maansarovar in the year 2020 but due to coronavirus pandemic and worldwide travel restrictions enforced due to the pandemic in that year and the following year, his trekking plans had to be postponed to the year 2023.

Over the past 10 years, Savneel’s passion for adventure has been balanced with his passion for academics, politics and philanthropy.

In May 2015, Savneel joined the teaching profession.

On 20 February 2018, Savneel resigned from teaching to join politics. He became a provisional candidate for the National Federation Party for the 2018 General Elections in Fiji.

Savneel came into major controversy, when he supported the legalization of same-sex marriage in Fiji.

On 2 June 2018, he resigned from the National Federation Party and went to India.

Savneel realized the need for the Fijian youth to engage into politics and become part of the change-making process in Fiji. He also realized the absence of definite political platform for the Fijian youth.

On 14 May 2020, Savneel started work on establishing his own political party. His proposed party’s name is the Fijian National Congress. Through his party, he wants to create a definite political platform for, and motivate the Fijian youth to participate in politics, and become Members of Parliament.

Savneel is an active child rights advocate. Over the past 6 years, he has worked with various governmental, non-governmental and private sector organizations to improve the status of children in Fiji and campaign against rising child abuse cases in Fiji.

Apart from that, Savneel has been utilising his sports background to conduct Walkathon events to raise awareness on urgent social issues in Fiji. Such issues included human rights, education, climate change, health and so on.

Savneel’s major charitable association includes the Savneel Sangeet Foundation, Literature and Arts Society of Fiji, Fiji Religious Bodies Congress, United Religions Initiative, Religions For Peace, Gurukul Panini Trust and so on.