A rally titled, “Save Mountain, Save Mountaineer”, is to be organized on 16th February on the streets of Kolkata to spread awareness about mountaineering, and fostering a sense of belongingness amongst all mountaineers. It also aims to protest against the injustice meted out to the victims of Everest and to raise voices against incompetent commercialism of mountaineering behind the façade of tourist climbing. Climbers and many more mountaineering enthusiasts also plan be a part of this event. The rally will start from Press Club, Kolkata at 4pm. “Our rally strongly identifies as a testimony against the vicious act of deforestation. We intend to come out in the streets as an act of protestation against the ruthless action to thrash down the hills in Purulia – Chandi and Maatha. We sturdily aim to raise our voice against the conspiracy that led to such alarming misfortunes during the Everest expedition in 2016.”, says Sanjay Das on behalf of the organizers.
This is what people had to say about the rally:
“I would like to lend my heartfelt support to this rally - Save Mountaineer, Save Mountain. Extremely wonderful initiative. I would request everyone to come and be a part of this rally,” says Mr. Shyamal Sarkar.
Mrs. Chandana Ghosh, wife of deceased mountaineer Mr. Gautam Ghosh feels, “The injustice meted out to the recent frostbite victims and to Gautam ghosh was uncalled for. We need to raise our voice against this. I would urge everyone to come and be a part of it and help fight this injustice and the trail of lies and deceit.”
“We should think about saving all the mountain ranges of Purulia and Bankura and not only the Himalayas. Save the mountaineers. Every year climbers fall prey to epidemic and several mountaineers get afflicted by frostbite. In recent times, certain agencies have commercialised mountaineering through tourist climbing. It is important to break through and find out who is responsible for all of this and why there's so much of indifference towards mountaineers. One also needs to find the reason behind accidents occurring on the mountains every year,” is what Dr Rupak Bhattacharya feels.
Senior climber Mr. Asit Kumar Ray says, “This walk titled as "Save Mountaineer, Save Mountain", is very important. It is very important to spread awareness about the happenings in the mountaineering field. I will be a part of this event and I wish all the mountaineers are to be a part of this event too.”
Veteran mountaineer Amulya Sen says, “I cannot recollect being a part of any such rally ever before in my lifetime. This is a wonderful and historical initiative aimed at bringing all the mountaineers together and binding them in an embrace of love and warmth. Such initiatives should be held in the future as well. I believe that mountaineering should not be viewed as a sport but as a connect with mother nature.”
“Imprudently, to our utmost surprise, the famous Chandi Hill, situated at the village of Bero in Purulia, has been proposed to be wrecked down. Apparently, another two crags; famously known as Maatha and Tilabani, are too, about to be the victim of suburbanization that would lead to the construction of broader highways. According to the sources, there has already been several attempts made to transform the natural colour of Paakhi Hill to various artificial shades. Similar speculations have been doing the rounds that another well-known Hill, in the district of Purulia; Ayodhya, is going to be scapegoat of similar kind of death-defying environmental threats which would result into an intimidating imbalance of ecological equipoise as well as a tremendous forfeiture of biodiversity.
The history of mountaineering in Bengal, documented numerable triumphant voyages to the Himalayas. Though coupled with a distinct count of catastrophes that took many lives, the legacy of climbing in Bengal, lives on amongst the budding wanderlusters with an unmatchable figure of successful summits in last two decades. Nonetheless, to our utmost astonishment, with success, there came the dispute of falsehood, obscurity, and consequently a pact of “cosmetic adventures”. Distinguishably, the fiasco that took place during the Everest expedition in 2016 and the following, spearheaded multiple muddles. Our rally is meant to be embodied as a dissent to the unending discomfiture that is depreciating the glorious history of mountaineering in Bengal,” Sanjay Das said on behalf of the organizers.
“Last year, the ill-reputed expedition to Mount Kailash, organized by West Bengal Mountaineering and Adventure Sports Foundation (WBMASF), had made it to the news for infamous casualties, fictious representation of unavoidable tragedies due to lack of mountaineering competencies, and the misuse of powerful influences. We duly demand that WBMASF, would put forth disciplinary action against the dreadful occurrences, committed by the so-called skilled squad of mountaineers. Throughout the year, at various corners in the state of West Bengal, there has multiple attempts been made to these extensive deforestation agendas in the name of industrialization, or rather, urbanisation, at times. Neither we stand against or in the middle of developmental actions for the furtherance of our state, nor we support the provision of ecological threats – rather we demand a mandate, issued by esteemed authorities, to safeguard our atmosphere by the means of eco-friendly endeavours. We stand unfaltered against the horrifying act of obliviousness, ineptitude and above all, the endorsement of falsehood that led to repetitive disasters of so many fledgling climbers all along. We would hope that our attempt, to make the world have a better future, would be joined by you and your fellow mates,” he added.
Amulya Sen and Shyamal Sarkar