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Indian Army Major scales Mt Everest. Twice!

Last updated on: November 18, 2013 19:30 IST

Indian Army Major scales Mt Everest. Twice!

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Most scale it once in a lifetime. Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal summited the Everest two times over in one year.

India is full of icons in every field, but a paradox exists, for at times, instead of celebrating their success, we shun and push them into oblivion. Achievements don't usually get overlooked, but more often than not, we don't get to know about them.

Something similar happened when an Indian Army soldier climbed Mt. Everest twice in one year, breaking through the cocoon of limitations.

Surmounting difficulties has become second nature to Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal (VSM). He climbed Mt. Everest on May 25, 2012 and on May 19, 2013, giving him the distinction of summiting Everest twice within twelve months.


Image: The President, Pranab Mukherjee presenting the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award-2012 to Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal for Mountaineering, at the National Sports & Adventure awards ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhawan, in New Delhi on August 31, 2013.
Photographs: Courtesy: Press Information Bureau (pib.nic.in)

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An innocent boy from the non-descript village of Badhori in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba District, Jamwal joined the army as a sepoy, and acquired the motivation to break all shackles of human spirit to test his every limit.

The army helped him to become a commissioned officer and his achievement of summiting Mt. Everest twice within a year, has won him the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in August this year. But, how many of us have even heard of his name?

Jamwal's ever smiling face and the pleasant demeanour infects everyone interacting with him. He prides himself and his service, and this can be seen as soon as he starts speaking.

Fondly called Jammy, Jamwal said: "I am a typical soldier of the Indian Army, who is ready to give his best in everything I am asked to do. Whatever achievements I have in my name today, are the result of our army and my seniors."

"They were there to not only to guide me, but also in the true esprit de corps, everyone was there to help me to excel," he adds. Life has been a constant test of grit and resolve for Jamwal.


Image: Mount Everest (2nd R), the world highest peak, and other peaks of the Himalayan range are seen from air during a mountain flight from Kathmandu
Photographs: Tim Chong/Reuters

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He always dreamt of joining the army. His father -- Onkar Singh -- is a retired soldier and Jamwal said he learnt the dignity of hard work from the former. He sees his father as his role model.

His motto is "stop thinking in terms of limitations and start thinking in terms of possibilities".

Today, Jamwal is a proud officer of the Jat regiment. He began his journey as an ordinary jawan in the Dogra regiment, which he calls his nursery. The officers of the Dogra regiment guided him to clear his officer examination (Army Cadets College) in four years.

He joined the Indian Military Academy in 1998 and was commissioned into the Jat regiment as an officer in June 2002.


Image: An Indian army soldier patrols near the Line of Control in Churunda village, about 129 km (80 miles) northwest of Srinagar
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

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Always inclined towards sports, his joining a voluntary course in mountaineering at High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS), Gulmarg, proved to be the catalyst for future glory. He was adjudged the best student and was posted back to the HAWS as an instructor.

From there, he was sent to Switzerland to do a course in search and rescue in mountains. There too, he ended up being rated the best student.

While talking about the kind of support he got, Major Jamwal said: "Can you imagine every person in my regiment used to be aware of my every step forward, and, it was because they all wanted me to do well."

His family, which includes his father, mother, younger brother, wife and two kids, has been a constant source of motivation. "Every award and recognition is actually shared by my family," he says.

His wife, Kiran, says: "Since my first day of marriage, I had sensed his dedication and devotion towards his work, and thus, I decided to help him to give his best."


Photographs: Creative Commons/Ali Lokhandwala

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This officer has also climbed peaks in Europe, Africa and South America. Because of his selfless devotion and fearless leadership, Jamwal was given the Vishisht Sewa Medal in 2013.

He has been actively involved in various rescue expeditions in Kashmir and the Garhwal Himalayas. The Government of Nepal has also acknowledged this feat by awarding him the Sagarmatha Pollution Control Committee appreciation certificate. Jammu and Kashmir MLA Surjit Singh Slathia, who represents the constituency from to which Major Jamwal hails says, "We are proud of his achievements. He has brought laurels to our country and to Jammu and Kashmir."


Image: Tourists walk past snow-covered trees in Gulmarg
Photographs: Danish Ismail/Reuters

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Source: ANI