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GTA pitch for Bharat Ratna, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa statue in Parliament

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Taking cue from NASA, the Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has become proactive and has decided to write to the Centre, to install a statue of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in the premises of Parliament and naming the Bagdogra airport in the legendary mountaineer’s name.
This comes in the wake of NASA naming the first discovered mountain in Pluto- ‘Norgay Montes’ after Tenzing Norgay. “We thank NASA for conferring such a huge honour to Tenzing Norgay which gives pride to all Gorkhalis and the Darjeeling Hills. They (NASA) could have named the newly discovered mountain in Pluto after any American legends but they did not,” said GTA chief executive Bimal Gurung on Sunday.
Terming the legendary mountaineer as a global icon, the GTA chief executive said time had come for the country to acknowledge Tenzing Norgay’s greatness. “As NASA honours our legend, time has come for our Government to acknowledge Tenzing’s greatness and contribution to the country,” Gurung said in a Press statement that was issued after an internal meeting of the council body during the day in Darjeeling.
Tenzing Norgay along with New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to set foot on Mount Everest on May 29, 1953, a feat which at that time was unimaginable.
The Sherpa community in the Darjeeling Hills have long been demanding conferring Tenzing Norgay with the Bharat Ratna but which the Centre has not acceded to.
On Sunday, the GTA took a decision to write to the President and the Prime Minister in this regard. “In 2014, our Prime Minister had stated how the entire nation was inspired by Tenzing Norgay’s unparallel achievement. We will remind him about his statement and also request the President to confer Tenzing Norgay with the Bharat Ratna, to respect his legacy and also encourage the present and coming generations to strive for excellence,” said Gurung.
The GTA will also write to the Centre seeking the renaming of NH-55, the primary link between the Hills and plains and Bagdogra airport. “NH-55 is officially named Tenzing Norgay Highway but this nomenclature is not used. I will write to the union road transport and highway minister to rename NH-55 in the mountaineer’s name. This aside, we also want Bagdogra airport, the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute and the Rajdhani Express from NJP to Delhi to be named after the late mountaineer,” Gurung said.
The late mountaineer’s son Jamling Tenzing Norgay Sherpa expressed gratitude to NASA for the honour conferred to his father. “It is surprising. Wish our Government took the initiative to remember and honour my father’s achievements and laurels he has brought to the
country,” he said.
Tenzing Norgay was awarded the George medal and Coronation medal from the British government, the Iran Shah Medal and the Nepal Tara and Nepal Pratap Vardak awards. The Indian government had on the other hand honoured Tenzing with the Padma Bhusan. PTI

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