Darjeeling, 25th February: One cannot speak of Mt. Everest without mentioning Tenzing Norgay Sherpa who with New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary scaled the then unconquered Mount Everest on May 29, 1953. For a long time, the people of the Hills have been demanding the Everester be conferred with Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honor in the country.
On Tuesday, a delegation from the United Sherpa Association met with Darjeeling MP Raju Bista and MLA Neeraj Zimba Tamang, to file a written memorandum demanding the same. Speaking to members of the delegation, Raju Bista mentioned that the aforementioned demand is valid and a long pending request. He assured that he would try and discuss the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The demand rose after the Centre in 2012 stated that the award will be presented to “recognize excellence in any field of human endeavor". Earlier, the Bharat Ratna was restricted to exceptional achievements in art, literature, science and public service.
Tenzing Norgay became the first Director and Advisor of Field Training of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling when it was set up in 1954 till his death in 1986 in Darjeeling.
In 1938, Norgay was awarded Tiger Medal for high-altitude work. In 1953, Norgay received the George Medal in 1953 from the British government. He also received, along with the rest of the Everest party, the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal. In 1953, King Tribhuvan of Nepal presented him with the Order of the Star of Nepal, 1st Class (Supradipta-Manyabara-Nepal-Tara). In July 2015, the highest-known, 3.4-kilometre-high (11,000 ft) mountain range on the dwarf planet Pluto was named Tenzing Montes.