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Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award to Darjeeling boy

Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award to Darjeeling boy
A Darjeeling resident, engaged as a trooper with the India Tibetan Border Police or ITBP has been bestowed with the prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award by President Pranab Mukherjee, heralding a new dawn for the hills that otherwise has remained perennially embroiled in political issues.
The selection came as a pleasant surprise for 35-year-old Pasang Tenzing Sherpa upon being informed by his unit officers in Delhi. The impact of the award, that too from the first citizen of the country, is yet to sink in as real says Sherpa.
 “I was on leave and when I reported for duty on August 27, I was informed I had been selected for the award, which came as a big surprise. It seems everyone, including my family members, knew about it except me,” laughed Sherpa, who is presently in his hometown in Darjeeling after receiving the award on August 29, National Sports Day.  “I was dumbstruck and in awe for a while when I went up to the dais to meet the President and receive the award at the Asoka Hall of Rastrapati Bhawan in the presence of some of the country’s finest sportspersons,” he recollects.
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure award is instituted by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Department in recognition of unmatched dedication in terms of land, water, air and sea adventure. Sherpa received the award for land adventure that carries an amount of Rs5 lakh along with a memento and certificate of merit. He now finds himself in the league of luminaries such as Nawang Gumbu and Kesang Sherpa, also Darjeeling denizens.
Sherpa, who comes from a humble background, was part of the 12 member Special Rescue Search team deployed last year in Uttarakhand when most parts of the state were ravaged by savage rainfall and landslides that led to the loss of innumerable lives and property. He is engaged as a mountaineering instructor with the ITBP unit in Delhi and has scaled Mount Everest twice, first in 2006 and later in 2012 with an ITBP team.
 “I was inspired by my father who was a trekker,” says Sherpa. “From a very young age I imagined myself wearing mountaineering gear one day whenever I used to watch my father get ready for an expedition.”
For the record, Sherpa has already climbed 17 different peaks including Mount Kamet in Uttarakhand, which towers at more than 25,000 feet.
Talking about his future and giving a piece of advice to youngsters today presently virtually without any physical activity thanks to the internet, Sherpa said his desire now is to summit Mount K2 in Pakistan, the second highest peak in the world.
 “K2 is considered even more challenging compared to Everest, but the fact it is located in Pakistan makes things a bit complicated. My humble advice to youngsters is to involve themselves in outdoor sporting activities, which is good not only for their physical health but also mental sharpness,” remarked Sherpa.
As for the moment, Sherpa said he would keep his mind focused on the job at hand, to guard India’s border with Bhutan, which by no accounts is a mean task.(EOIC)

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