Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday felicitated the 15-member team of the second Border Security Force (BSF) Mt Everest expedition here which successfully scaled the highest peak in the world, on May 20 and 21 in two different groups.
Expedition leader Padma Shri Love Raj Singh Dharmshaktu created history by conquering the 29,035 feet-high peak for the seventh time. He is the first Indian to achieve this distinction.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Singh lauded the double achievement of the BSF team, first scaling the peak and second carrying out a cleanliness drive. He said the BSF efforts in taking the cleanliness drive to the Himalayas ”will definitely take our message to the world”. BSF is known for making any task possible, whether it is Border Security or scaling the highest peak, he added.
Mr Rajnath Singh appreciated that the team also propagated the message of protection of environment by spreading “Swachchta Mission” at the great Himalayan peaks. He lauded the effort of the team which brought down with them 700 kilograms of waste left over by other mountaineering expedition teams.
“It is a praiseworthy step by the BSF which put forth before the entire world India’s commitment to safeguarding the environment,” he said.
The Home Minister presented cheques of Rs two lakh to the expedition leader, Rs one and a half 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.
The cleanliness drive carried out by BSF mountaineering team members has got international attention as Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee (SPCC) has appreciated in recognition of the team’s exemplary work in cleaning from the Mt Everest. 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”.
The BSF mountaineering team, formed in 1976, has not only climbed many peaks but also skied down from Kedar Dome (22,410 Ft) and given a new dimension to the adventure sports traditions of the force. In 2006, the BSF’s first mountaineering expedition to Mt Everest was also a newsmaker as S C Negi DIG became the highest ranking police officer at the age of 56 to lead the team and reach Mt Everest.