HMI Darjeeling to celebrate diamond jubilee in a grand affair

HMI Darjeeling to celebrate diamond jubilee in a grand affair
With the aim to create awareness among people about the contribution of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI) in the field of adventure sports, the institution has decided to make its Diamond Jubilee celebration a grand affair.
The celebration will be a three day affair from November 13 to 15 and will be held in around the town and in its premises. “This (Diamond Jubilee) is a once in a lifetime occasion for the institute. It is humbling for the institute to have reached this stage having attained the level of excellence. We are proud to celebrate the occasion,” said Gulshan Chadha, the director of the institute, on Sunday.
The HMI was instituted in 1954 by then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to commemorate the climb of the summit of Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, by Tenzing Norgay and Sir Edmund Hillary on May 23, 1953.
The basic aim being to promote adventure activities in the Himalayas, the institute since then has trained approximately 40,000 people including 1,700 overseas trainees in different aspects of adventure and mountaineering.
The HMI has become the centre of attraction for people coming to the Darjeeling Hills not only from within the country but also from abroad even though it continues to impart educational activities on mountaineering and Himalayan culture. “Every year nearly one million Indian and foreign tourists from Europe, Japan and South Korea including VIPs, researchers and trainees visit the HMI. The institute has a beautiful museum which houses history and culture of which we are extremely proud of,” said Chadha.
The institute’s director said the diamond jubilee celebrations would be the ideal occasion not only to give wide publicity to the institute but also to spread the spirit of adventure amongst the youth. “We are going about doing our work to promote adventure activities among the youths but we also do need to make ourselves visible. The jubileecelebration is the right occasion to promote the institute,” said Chadha.
The three-day programme includes nature workshop and jungle walk at Birch Hill, painting competition on the Himalayan theme- Mountains and Darjeeling, performance by musicians from other Himalayan states like Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand, Bengal, Sikkim and
Arunachal Pradesh.
 As part of the celebration programme, the institute will also conduct a National Mountaineer’s meet covering the topic- Creation of national mountain search and rescue grid and a race to save environment among the several lined-up, from the HMI to Chowrastha. On the occasion, the defence ministry will also release a Diamond Jubilee souvenir and also pay floral tribute to Tenzing Norgay in his memorial. (EOIC)

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