New Delhi, June 23: He has climbed many a peak, but scaling the Mount Everest has been special for BSF officer S C Negi as the feat made him the highest-ranking military official and the oldest Indian to reach the roof of the world.
Fifty-six year-old Negi, an Additional Deputy Inspector General posted at BSF frontier headquarters in Jammu, created history when he led a 14-member team to Everest's 8,848 metre summit last month, the first such attempt by the border force.
Born in Nesang village in Himachal Pradesh's mountainous Kinnaur district, Negi has had a special attachment with the snowy, but treacherous, peaks of the Himalayas and always dreamt of reaching its top.
His dream came true on may 24 when he alongwith two Sherpas reached the highest point on earth, four days after his seven team members hoisted the national Tricolour atop the Mount Everest.
"I will cherish this moment," he said today as Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, BSF Director General A K Mitra and other top government officials heaped praise on him as they received the successful mountaineering team.
Observing that such expeditions would transform a person, Patil said youngsters should be encouraged to take part in international sports, games and adventurous activities and offered all possible support from the government.
"Whether it is river rafting, undersea or mountaineering expedition, we will provide all possible support. Youngsters should undertake such adventurous activities as sky is the limit," he added.