Imphal, Sept. 21: President Pranab Mukherjee will officially flag off the 1st Northeast India On Top of the World Mount Everest Expedition from the forecourt of Rastrapati Bhavan on March 20 next year.
The official flag-off was confirmed through a communiqué from the President’s office on September 15, said Santosh Shekhar, public relations officer for the expedition.
Manipur chief minister O. Ibobi Singh is the chief patron of the expedition, while chief secretary D.S. Poonia will be the chef de mission, who will be present as a goodwill emissary and not a part of the climbing team. This will be first ever attempt by a team from the Northeast to scale the tallest peak in the world, though several individuals, including Anshu Jamsenpa from Arunachal Pradesh, have made it to the top.
The expedition is exclusively funded by North Eastern Council, Shillong, and is being executed by the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association. The team will comprise 17 climbers, including three women — Anshu Jamsenpa of Arunachal Pradesh, Wangshuk Myrthrong of Meghalaya and N. Bidyapati Devi of Manipur.
The rest are team leader L. Surjit Singh, Puyamcha Mohon, M. Shanta Singh, A. Robert, N. Chingkheinganba, Nelson, W. James Singh of Manipur, Tarun Saikia and Manish Deka of Assam, David Zohmangaiha and Vanlalliana of Mizoram, Kazi Sherpa and Mohon Bishwakarma and Nima Lama of Arunachal Pradesh. Manipur’s 15-year-old student N. Chingkheinganba will be the youngest climber in the expedition.
Currently, all the climbers are undertaking an expedition to Mount Papsura (6445m) in Himachal Pradesh.