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Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) pays tribute to Tenzing Norgay

Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) pays tribute to Tenzing Norgay
The Himalayan Mountaineering Institute today observed the 100th birth anniversary of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in a sombre manner given the deaths of the 16 Sherpa climbers recently on Mount Everest in an avalanche.
The celebration was restricted to the laying of wreathes and khadas at Tenzing’s ‘Samadhi’ inside the institute premises, where HMI director Gulshan Chadha paid rich tributes to the legendary climber.
“Tenzing Norgay is one of the biggest celebrities in the history of mountaineering. He challenged the myth that Sherpas and Asians were meant to be porters as they were only capable of this job. By reaching the summit of Everest, Norgay proved to the world that Sherpas and people from this region are equal to the Europeans if not more capable,” he said.
Norgay and New Zealand’s Edmund Hillary captured the imagination of the world by conquering the world’s tallest peak on May 29, 1953. Although unconfirmed, it is believed that Tenzing started celebrating his birthday on May 29 to mark the feat.
Chadha also paid homage to the 16 Sherpa climbers who died on April 18 and remembered mountaineer Chhanda Gayen and her guide/porter, Dawa Wangchuk, who are reported to be missing since May 20 while attempting to scale Kanchenjunga.
“We had planned a grand celebration to mark Tenzing’s 100th birthday. But unfortunately we lost the 16 Sherpa climbers, while things went worse after Gayan and her companion disappeared. It would not have looked proper to indulge in gaiety,” said the HMI director.
Personalities from various fields also paid homage to the ‘Tiger of the Snows’, one of the many tributes given to Tenzing, by placing khadas and floral tributes on his Samadhi.
Indian Mountaineering Foundation vice-president HS Chauhan, who was a special invitee, spoke to reporters after the programme ended.
He said, “There are plans of adventure sports being included in vocational studies for which a notification will be published under the All India Technical Education. We hope they will be implemented by the end of July. Moreover, we are trying to standardise mountaineering  training according to the Union Internationale Des Association D’Alpinisme guidelines, which will make the training process uniform globally.”
The UIAA, headquartered at Berne in Switzerland, is also known as the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation and is the global body that governs mountaineering
India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru conceived the idea of a national training centre for mountaineering in recognition of Tenzing’s achievement and established the HMI in Darjeeling. Tenzing was made the director of field training, a post he held till 1976. After his retirement, Tenzing was appointed as advisor to the HMI, a responsibility he held till his death in May, 1986.
While paying homage to the Everester, the United Sherpa Association  rued the fact that nothing had been done yet to honour or even help  Dawa Wangchuk’s family.
“Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and state government officials have already visited Gayen’s family. We don’t mean to be critical of this, but a state government representative should also have met Wangchuk’s family to extend empathy,” said an association member not wanting to be named.(EOIC)

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