Kathmandu – The International Sagarmatha Day main celebrations committee awarded various people and organisations having contributions to the mountaineering sector amidst a programme here today.
Nepal Mountaineering Instructor Association was awarded the 'National Sagarmatha Prize' carrying a purse of Rs 100,000 while the 'Tenzing Hillary Award' carrying a purse of Rs 500,000 each was presented to professional climber Kami Rita Sherpa who holds record for the most ascents to the world's highest peak. The 48-year-old Sherpa guide reached on the top of the world's highest peak for the 22nd time recently.
Lhakpa Sherpa, female climber who makes the record for the most ascents to the Everest (women category), and captain Siddartha Gurung of Simrik Air Pvt Ltd who has long years' experience in flying in the mountainous terrain and has contributions to saving lives of many locals and foreign tourists in the Himalayas, are also the winners of the award.
Similarly, Mingmachhiri Sherpa (19th time), Nimagombu (18th), Pasang Tenzing (11th), Thudu (10th ), Aangchhiring, Nimatemba and Pemathili were handed the Guinness Book of World Records certificates under the category of most siblings to climb the Everest.
Likewise, Phurba Tenjing Sherpa, Phurbathili, Pemba Dorje and Dawadiki, four brothers climbing the Everest together were given the Guinness Book of World Records certificates.
Minister for Water Supply and Sanitation, Bina Magar was there to give away the awards and certificates to them. On the occasion, she insisted on the need of special State facilities and respects to brave mountain climbers who have a significant role in promoting adventurous tourism.
Minister Magar who is also the Everest Summiteer, underlined the need of providing necessary facilities to the Sherpa guides whose role is vital in the mountaineering. "Sherpa guides take all the responsibilities of life of climbers and guide them to the top of the mountain, putting own life at risk. But they remain invisible," she said pledging to make initiations thorough her personal and official levels for honour of Sherpas.
Secretary of the Ministry and Chairperson of the main celebration committee Krishna Prasad Devkota said the government would do its best to conserve and protect Mt Everest, while Chief Executive Officer at the Nepal Tourism Board Dipak Raj Joshi stressed the need for making the highest peak known to the world. President of Nepal Mountaineering Association Santa Bir Lama stressed partnership between the government and private sector for managing mountain tourism.
Migma Sherpa, who climbed 14 mountains of the world above 8000 meters, said the government should provide lifelong sustenance facilities to Sherpa mountaineers and guides.
Kami Rita Sherpa, who achieved the record for most ascents on Mt Everest by climbing for the 22nd time, echoed Migma, calling for the government to recognise the role of Sherpa guides in helping domestic and foreign mountaineers get atop the highest peak at the risk of their own life.
The International Sagarmatha Day is observed on May 29 to mark the first successful ascent of Mt Everest by a New Zealand citizen Edmund Hillary and Tenjing Norgey Sherpa, a Nepali, on May 29, 1953. The Day is being celebrated following the demise of Hillary on January 11, 2008. (Photo available) ---