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Manipur lady scales Everest

Imphal, May 17: Ningthoujam Bidyapati Devi scripted history today, becoming the first woman from Manipur to scale Mount Everest, at 9.30am. The 30-year-old climber was accompanied by Anand Gurung of Sikkim and Nima Lama of Arunachal Pradesh, who together formed Team One of the first Northeast India Top of the World Mount Everest Expedition, 2013.

Anand Gurung was the first to scale the summit at 7.35am while Nima Lima scaled the height at 8.30am.

The team comprised 17 members, including nine climbers from the Northeast, who were divided into three teams.

Six other climbers including Kazi Sherpa of Sikkim, Wansuk Myrthong of Meghalaya, Tarun Saikia of Assam, David Zohmanggaiha of Mizoram, N. Chingkheinganba of Manipur and two-time-Everester Anshu Jamsenpa of Arunachal Pradesh, who will form Team Two, will attempt the climb tonight.

Puyamcha Mohan of Manipur will attempt to scale the summit on May 19.

The 1st Northeast India Top of the World Expedition, sponsored by the North Eastern Council and organised by the planning department, Manipur and implemented by Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association is led by its president L. Surjit Singh as team leader. Manipur chief minister O. Ibobi Singh is the chief patron.

The team had arrived at the Everest base camp on April 5 and has been undergoing acclimatisation. .

Manipur governor Gurbachan Jagat had flagged off the team from Kangla on February 25 and subsequently President Pranab Mukherjee from Rastrapati Bhavan flagged off the team on March 20.

A team doctor, Dr Nelson, and a climber, W. James Singh, had to return to the base camp because of bad health.

Bidyapati Devi’s mother Borkeina Devi expressed happiness at her daughter’s success and said she could not keep her emotions in check.

Borkeina Devi said she “could not sleep for the last few days thinking of what might happen” to her daughter but on hearing of her achievement, she shed tears of joy.

She said her daughter was adventurous as a child and enthusiastic about climbing. She was also a hardworking NCC cadet.

Bidyapati Devi hails from Mongjam Maning Leikai in Imphal East and is the only daughter among the three children of N. Koknang Singh and Borkeina Devi.

N. Suraj Singh is the first male Everest summiteer from Manipur. G. Anita Devi, also an Everester from Manipur, failed to make it to the summit.