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Govt felicitates Everest climber

Bhubaneswar, May 31: Ganesh Jena, the first male from Orissa, who scaled the Everest on May 18, was felicitated today at the Suchana Bhavan here by the state government.

Working as a fountain operator of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA), Jena (38) is the second Oriya from the state, after woman mountaineer Kalpana Das to have achieved this feat.

“Willpower, patience and determination hold the key to success. My target is to scale the Everest twice in one season,” he said.

Jena’s expedition, organised by the Kathamandu-based Arun Treks and Expeditions, was flagged off by chief minister Naveen Patnaik on March 31 from the Assembly. He reached the summit with three Sherpa guides — Ang Kami Sherpa, Jangbu Sherpa and Tashi Tshering Sherpa.

“Towards the end, we were very exhausted since we had been walking constantly for two days and the weather was bad. The temperature was 39.5 degrees Celsius. But setting foot on the peak was sheer bliss,” he said.

Jena said his expedition had involved an expenditure of over Rs 7 lakh. “I took a loan for the amount. I have given a cheque of Rs 4 lakh to Arun Treks and Expeditions which had organised the trip. I collected rest of the money from my guruji and some relatives,” he said, adding that he has already spent Rs 1 lakh for the treatment of frostbite injuries.

Earlier, he had successfully conquered seven others peaks — Mamostong Kangri, Mount Kamet, Mmount Saser Kangir, Ladakhi, Satider, Friendship and Mount Stock Kangri.

Jena’s colleagues from the BDA also attended the felicitation ceremony. During the function, minister for sports and youth affairs Badrinarayan Patra said Jena had made every Oriya proud by conquering the 8,848-metre peak.

A day after Jena climbed the Everest, Jogabyasa Bhoi (32), a primary schoolteacher from Kalahandi district, scaled the world’s highest peak.

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