Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) today greatly welcomed and felicitated world records holder climber Mr. Sanu Sherpa.
Mr. Sherpa, this morning upon his arrival, was received by the team of NMA along with the minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Jeevan Ram Shrestha at the VIP lounge of Tribhuvan International Airport.
Then, he was taken to the residential office of the Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Mr. Sher Bahadur Deuba at Baluwatar, where he was welcomed by the Prime Minister with Khada & garland.
The climber was accompanied by a rally with the representatives of the various tourism related organizations. Later on the day, he was felicitated by the Honorable Minister Shrestha at the conference hall of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB).
Honorable Minister presented certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Sanu Sherpa and another newest member of 14 eight thousanders Mr. Nima Gyalzen Sherpa on behalf of NMA.
The 47 years-old Sanu had become first and only climber to have successfully completed double ascent of all the 14 eight thousanders of the world.
Mr. Sanu had successfully scaled 8035-meter-high Gasherbrum II in the Karakoram mountain range of Pakistan on 21st July 2022 to achieve this feat. Mr. Sanu has been able to set this unmatched record in the duration of only 16 years.
‘‘I used to be busy farmer. I was a proper farmer 16 years back’’, a shepherd of one time remembers his old days. ‘‘But, I leave my village to earn something. With the help of Mr. Wanchu Sherpa, I have been able get this achievement.’’
However, he didn’t shy to share his bitter experience on government laying deaf ear on the plight of climbers. ‘‘I am very happy today and unhappy too at the same time. If someone climbs a peak, s/he gets everything from the government,’’ Mr. Sherpa says. ‘‘We have done far more than this, however we have to eke out for our family.’’
Mr. Nima Gyalzen also seconded the Mr. Sanu regarding the plight of the climbers. He further said, ‘‘We pay millions of dollars to the government as royalty for the climbing. In return, the government does nothing for us. Rather, we should pay a bribe to acquire a permit and even to receive the climbing certificate.’’
Before this, the president of NMA Mr. Nima Nuru Sherpa had urged the government to look after the plight of the record holder climbers to keep the Nepali Tourism Industry alive.
‘‘We have such sherpas who can do anything in the mountains. They can achieve any records,’’ President of NMA Mr. Sherpa added, ‘‘It's the government’s turn to respond correctly. It’s time to act urgently but creatively. If not, the industry could collapse soon. The government needs to do something for the welfare of these sherpas.’’
Present at the welcome and felicitation program Honourable Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Mr. Jeevan Ram Shrestha, Honourable member of parliament and Central Member of Nepali Congress Mr. Jeep Tshering Lama announced a cash prize for the record holder climbers.
Minister Shrestha said that he will provide his salary of one month for Mr. Sanu Sherpa as prize. ‘‘I am saddened to learn about the situation of climbers. We need to review our policy or should introduce new policies and programs to perfectly address the problem faced by the climbers. I will definitely do something to upgrade the situation after consulting with the NMA and other stakeholders’’, Minister Shrestha said, ‘‘For now, I would like to announce that I will provide my one month of salary to Mr. Sanu sherpa as prize.’’
In a row, Honourable member of Parliament and Central Committee Member of Nepali Congress Mr. Lama also announced that he will provide one lakh each to both of the climbers. He said, ‘‘I will provide one lakh each as an honor.’’
Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board Mr. Dhananjaya Regmi, President of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) Mr. Khum Subedi, Chairman of Makalu Rural Municipality of Sankhuwasabha Mr. Ongdi Tshering Sherpa also congratulated both the climbers at the event.
The program was attended by board members of NMA, representatives of the various Tourism Umbrella Organizations and others. Senior vice president Mr. Thakur Raj Pandey extended thanks to the guests and participants of the program where as the program was hosted by Secretariat Member Ms. Doma Sherpa.