Indian Army is now up for a high challenge – the highest in measurable terms, perhaps. It is called Swachh Everest mission.
A special 34-member mountaineering team led by Major Ranveer Singh Jamval will scale the world’s highest peak to achieve two things: one, mark the golden jubilee of the first ascent to the peak by an Indian, and, two, clean up the garbage
Kenji Kondo / AP Photo
The team will leave for Kathmandu on April 4 and ascend the peak around mid-May. For 30 days during this period, the team will be carrying out its Swachh Everest mission.
They will bring down around 4,000 kg of non-biodegradable mountaineering waste dumped by climbers with help of sherpas.
The Indian Army team will carry out the mission at Camps 1, 2, 3 and 4. The camps are located at altitudes between 19,697 feet and 29,028 feet.
Such is the high density of garbage on Mount Everest that many call it the “world’s highest junkyard”. Everything from empty tins to corpses (of lost mountaineers) can be found strewn all over the mountain.
The army says the gesture will convey to the world Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of a clean environment.
“Our prime minister’s message of Swachh Bharat has been received well across the country; our mountaineers will now take it to the top of the world and from there spread it across the globe.”
Just to help you understand the importance of this mission: In 2012, Nepali artists used 1.5 metric tonnes of trash taken from Mount Everest to produce works of art as part of an awareness campaign to keep the summit clean.