New Delhi: The mortal remains of Odisha's first woman mountaineer Kalpana Dash were brought to Bhubaneswar from Delhi on Sunday. She passed away on May 23 while descending from the Mount Everest. Her body, which was retrieved five days back, was first brought to Delhi from Kathmandu in Nepal.
Odisha Sports and Youth Services Minister Tusharkanti Behera and Women and Child Development Minister Tukunu Sahu along with several other people paid tributes to the mountaineer at Kalinga Stadium Complex.
"Kalpana Dash was an ace mountaineer who brought fame to the state. She was an achiever who led by example and even in her death she will continue to inspire young aspirants to scale great peaks," ANI quoted Behera as saying.
He thanked the authorities involved in bringing back her mortal remains. He further said that he will pitch Dash's name to the Governor Ganeshi Lal for the prestigious Padma Shri award and appeal to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for a memorial.
Dash had scaled Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, in May 2008 and become a role model in Odisha. She was part of a five-member team comprising mountaineers from the United States, Canada and Nepal. She had achieved the feat after two failed attempts in 2004 and 2006.
The 50-year-old mountaineer had left on her latest expedition to the summit on April 23 along with Liyamu Ma from China and Kanchhi Maya Tamang from Nepal. She scaled the summit successfully and was descending when an accident made her fall. A member of her team had informed her family back in Odisha’s Dhenkanal that she was climbing down slowly because of pain in one of her legs.
Dash is said to have died immediately after the fall and her body lay hanging. Her brother and two other family members had left for Kathmandu after the news of her death became known. The state government is bearing the cost of their travels and the expenses to be incurred in bringing Dash’s mortal remains back home.
In a career spanning a decade and a half, Dash had trekked many mountains in India and abroad, including in Europe, America and Australia, and conquered their peaks.