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Everest Day observed in Siliguri; condolences expressed over deaths in expeditions


ANI General News
Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation expressed condolences over the deaths of the mountaineers during the mountain expeditions in this month, on the occasion of the 66th Everest Day in Siliguri.
Tenzing Norgay, along with New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, had scaled the summit of the world's highest mountain for the first time on May 29, 1953. The day is internationally celebrated as Everest Day.
At least 20 climbers including few Indians died during the Mount Everest expedition in the last few days. According to the reports, most of the deaths were due to weakness, exhaustion and delays on the crowded route to the 8,848-meter summit. Three mountaineers from Bengal died during expeditions of Mt Kanchenjungha (8,568 m) and Mt. Makalu (8,463 m).
"We have been observing the 66th Everest Day here at a time when around 20 mountaineers have died or are missing during Mt Everest expedition. There were some Indian men and women and foreign climbers. We have lost three mountaineers from Bengal. We are observing the day in pain. The Mt Everest attracts hundreds of mountaineers every year but what has made us concerned is the growing traffic. This factor has been most critical in this season's deaths. We believe the Nepal government should review the situation seriously," Animesh Bose, an adventure enthusiast and the programme coordinator of Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation (HNAF), which in association with the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority ( SJDA) has been observing the day in front of the statue of Tenzing Norgay at Darjeeling More.
According to the media reports, Nepal opened the climbing route to the world's highest peak on 14 May after the government issued a record number of 381 climbing permits to the mountaineers representing 44 teams this season, the most since 1953. Along with the expedition members, more than 500 Sherpa climbers have also been accompanying the teams this year.
The reports stated that more than 4,400 people have scaled the summit since Norgay and Hilary first conquered the mountain in 1953.
Meanwhile, the organisers said they would again urge to the government that Tenzing Norgay should be conferred with Bharat Ratna- the highest civilian honour in the country.
"We have been observing the day to promote mountaineering and recall the contribution of Tenzing Norgay but it is very unfortunate that despite such a herculean feat, which was unimaginable at that time, the Government of India did not consider him for the award despite several requests from several quarters. Despite a longstanding demand of conferring Bharat Ratna on Tenzing Norgay and assurances from both the Centre and the state, nothing has happened yet. It is an irony that though he has been conferred with some of the highest civilian awards by many countries but his own country after so many years failed to honour him with the highest award," Mr Bose said adding that they are planning to request the state government to recommend his name for the award and also to the Centre.
Tenzing was conferred the Padma Bhushan in 1959 and a posthumous Padma Vibhushan in 2008, 22 years after his death. Along with the HNAF, the sherpas in Darjeeling have been raising the demand that the Bharat Ratna be bestowed on Tenzing.

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First Published: May 29 2019 | 3:12 PM IST

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