The Minister of State for Defence Dr MM Pallam Raju felicitated here today the members of two successful recent Indian mountaineering expeditions to peaks in Nepal. The expedition to Mount Everest was undertaken by an 11-member team of the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (NIM), Uttarkashi last month. Another premier mountaineering institute, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling, also part of the Ministry of Defence, conducted a joint Indo-Bangladesh expedition to the 8463 Mtr high Mt Makalu, the 5th highest peak in the world located 22 Km east of Mt Everest, around the same time.
The NIM team, led by Colonel MM Masur, scaled the 8,848 Mtr high Mt Everest on May 21st. The other members of the expedition were Subedar Satal Singh, Naib Sub. SS Bodh, Nb Sub Paratap Singh, Nb Sub Dinesh Singh, Shri Kushal Singh, Shri Dashrath Singh, Shri Loveraj Dharamshaktu, Shri Vishveshwar Semwal, Shri Vinod Gusain and Ms Kavita Burathoki. This was NIM’s first independent expedition to the highest peak in the world.
The 17-member HMI team, including two mountaineers from Bangladesh, also created history when it became the first Indian expedition to conquer Mt Makalu. On May 19th five climbers, - Subedar Neel Chand, Sub Rajinder Singh, Shri Kusang Sherpa, Shri Pawel Sharma and Shri Zangbo Sherpa besides five Sherpas successfully summitted the peak. Leader of the expedition Col. Neeraj Rana created a record, - paragliding from 6850 Mtr to 5300 Mtr, becoming the first Indian in the world to have flown down on Mt Makalu.
In a tragic loss during the Mt Makalu expedition, Sangat Ram Thakur, an Instructor at the HMI, met with an accident while trying to ski down Mt Makalu. He was evacuated to Kathmandu but later succumbed to his injuries. Paying glowing tributes to Thakur, Shri Pallam Raju hoped that the indomitable and courageous Indian soldier would scale greater heights.