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Stories from the summit

- Families applaud as Tata Steel fetes Everest trio

Jamshedpur, June 16: They were on top of the world three weeks ago. Today, they were on the dais, feted by their facilitator who made it possible for the trio to realise their dreams of conquering Mount Everest.

Tata Steel honoured Rajendra Singh Pal, Meghlal Mahto and Binita Soren at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in the presence of their families and truckloads of friends from their hometowns of Kesosora, Paharpur (Seraikela Kharsawan) and Bhadodih.

Tata Steel MD H.M. Nerurkar, who presented each of the Everest trio with a silver salver amid loud cheers from those present, said the company would continue to support adventure sports and activities that helped promote self-confidence and leadership qualities among the youth.

“These three climbers are role models for others who wish to emulate their feat,” he said.

As the trio spoke of their experiences, Meghlal’s father Santosh Mahto and mother Subhadra, Binita’s parents Parao and Domini and sister Lovely looked awe-struck. Their faces said it all. They were all proud of what their wards had achieved.

Tata Steel vice-president Sanjiv Paul, Tata Steel adventure programmes chief Bachendri Pal, mountaineer Premlata Agarwal, Tata Steel sports department senior manager Charles Borromeo were among those present.

“I still can't believe we did it,” a beaming Binita said. “It was not easy. The weather was changing by the minute. A lot of people were attempting to scale Mt Everest around the same time. We were holding on to hope and wanted to make a dash for the peak from Camp 4. Then, fortunately, the weather gods showered their kindness and we were able to successfully conquer Mt Everest”.

Meghlal spoke of the his struggle over the years. “Coming from a rural background and from the weaker sections of society, Binita and I have had a lot to surmount before this dream could become a reality. Mt Everest has taken me from where I belong to the top of the world,” he said.

Rajendra, younger brother of celebrity climber Bachendri, said the expedition, for him, was akin to retracing the path of his sister way back in 1984 when she became the first Indian woman and the 5th woman in the world to conquer Mt Everest.

It had taken him a 29 years to repeat that feat. Hence, the achievement meant a lot to him.

“As a manager at TSAF, I have undergone extensive training in mountaineering… Despite scaling several peaks during my career, this was one challenge I was eagerly waiting for. It was worth the wait,” he said.


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