Scaling Everest: A matter of life or death

As per the news article in TOI, A dozen mountaineers from Pune scaled the Mount Everest on Saturday morning. Sagarmatha Giryarohan Sanstha and Giripremi - the two city groups - announced success of their respective expeditions on their Facebook pages.

Tekraj Adhikari and Krishna Dhokle of Giripremi touched the summit first around 8.45 am followed by six others of the same group who reached the world's highest peak in the afternoon.

A glance at the efforts taken by the team: 
(TOI article) The team reached the base camp and waited there till the weather became favorable. On May 16, the team left the base camp and started its upward journey for camp one and camp two (6,462 meters), which is the first stage. On the following day morning the team reached camp three (7470 meters) after climbing stiff ascent of about 60 to 70 degrees. On May 18, the team reached camp four, which is at a height of 7,920 meters.
The expedition became tougher with winds blowing at a speed of 100 kms/ hour and temperature dropping significantly. However, the team succeeded in reaching 'South Col' point by afternoon on May 18. The final climb began around 9 pm.

 And what were the rewards, apart from the thrill of a successful climb? 
To quote TOI again, "Meanwhile, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that it is proud moment for Maharashtra, Besides, it is also the first team to climb Everest this year, he said. MP Vandana Chavan, deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and MNS chief Raj Thackeray congratulated the team."

Note: There is no indication of any financial reward or funding support extended by the government to these brave adventurers who have risked their lives and have done India proud. If you check this website,  they have put up an appeal for ordinary people to contribute to their total funds requirement. In their own words, "Raising funds of rupees 3.15 crore for this ambitious expedition is a mammoth task."

And here we have ordinary and some distinctly under-performing cricketers being showered with crores of rupees and gifts- all for what? Just doing their everyday work! Like engineers, doctors or accountants do! How much risk do they have of losing their life playing cricket? Almost nil!

We must also not forget that one of the Everest team members, Ramesh Gulave, died while on the expedition. This only serves to underline the risk involved in such a venture. 

It is time our corporate houses and government distributed sports funding more evenly- ie a lot less to the over-hyped game of cricket, and a lot more to 'invisible' sports such as gymnastics, mountaineering, wrestling,  shooting, athletic events, and many such.

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