At the felicitation ceremony for the 15-member Border Security Force (BSF) team — which broke a record of Army whose 14 member team had climbed Mount Everest last year — led by seven time Everest climber Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu (the highest by any Indian), he said the force is known for achieving any task, whether it is border security or scaling the highest peak.
“While it is difficult to achieve this feat even once, the BSF men have done it twice. I appreciate this team for propagating the message of protection of environment by spreading ‘Swachchta Mission’ at the great Himalayan peaks.
“This expedition was special in a way, that all 15 registered members of the team scaled the peak and offered reverence to the goddess of sky. Also the team have taken the spirit of cleanliness drive in the expedition with the motto of ‘clean glaciers, clean Himalaya’,” he said.
“By bringing down 700 kilograms of waste left over by other mountaineering expedition teams at the peak, the BSF team put forth before the entire world India’s commitment to safeguarding the environment,” he added.
The cleanliness drive carried out by the BSF mountaineering team has got international attention as Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) appreciated the team’s exemplary work, said BSF Director General K.K. Sharma.
The SPCC further mentioned in their letter of appreciation that “may team BSF initiative inspire many more climbers to keep Himalaya mountains clean for future generation”, Sharma said.
The BSF team, which was flagged off on March 20 from Delhi, successfully scaled Mount Everest on May 20 and 21 in two different groups, said a BSF official, Dharmshaktu created history by conquering the peak for the seventh time. The BSF had first summitted Everest in 2006.
On the occasion, Rajnath Singh presented cheques of Rs two lakh to the expedition leader, Dharmshaktu, Assistant Commandant in BSF, Rs 1.5 lakh to the deputy leader and Rs one lakh to each member of the team. He also presented cheques of Rs 25,000 to each member of the support team.
Sharma said the selected team members of the climbing team had undergone 40 days of pre-expedition tough training during the last year at the Atal Behari Vajpayee Mountaineering Institute at Himachal Pradesh’s Manali.
“Starting from Kathmandu, the team had set up their base camp at the height of 17,800 feet. The expedition then split into two teams and set up their second camp at the height of 21,600 feet on April 30 and the third Camp at 23,900 feet on May 2. During their expedition, the BSF teams scaled the high peaks thrice and under their ‘Swachch Glacier Mission’ collected and brought back the leftover waste by other mountaineers, to their base camp,” he said.
Sharma said the first group comprising seven members, led by expedition leader Dharmshaktu, conquered Everest at 7.30 in the morning of May 20 while the second group led by deputy leader Avinash Negi started from base camp on May 18 and scaled the Mount Everest at 7.55 a.m. on May 21.
“The Expedition also included eight member support team. The teams then returned to their base camp on May 24. They returned to Delhi on June 1,” he added.