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Mountaineering hero on a new mission
August 04, 2006 12:35 IST
The Indian Navy claims "proprietory rights" over him, the men he has led to the highest peaks of the world say he is a leader par excellence, his admirers run out of adjectives describing his feats, but Captain M S Kohli simply doesn't believe in resting on his laurels.
Fifty years after his first foray to capture the Himalayan mountain peaks, India's greatest mountaineer Capt Kohli is on a new mission -- to establish 'Adventure and Leadership Parks" aimed at attracting youngsters to lead a healthy and adventurous life.
"The latest venture is my passion and this will remain my obession for the remaining years of my life," says Kohli.
To start with, the two parks, which will consist of jogging track, rock climbing, obstacle course, yoga and meditation, will be set up in Manipur and Delhi by the year end.
Kohli, who heads the Himalayan Environment Trust, plans to launch 500 such parks in the country.
Kohli believes that "there are no great people in the world, only great challenges and ordinary people rise to meet them."
He now seeks to challenge the youngters to develop a sense of adventure, courage, team spirit and leadership through these parks. Life is all about adventure, fair play and above all faith in the almighty, says Capt Kohli.
It was faith, he says, that saved him from certain death in the icy Himalayas.
"I could feel the presence of Guru Gobind Singh telling me that I had many more things to do and giving me strength. Everytime I survived I could see my faith in my creator growing," he says.
He has written a bestseller Miracles of Ardaas on his encounters with death and the power of faith.
In 1962, Kohli spent three nights with two other climbers at Mount Everest without a supply tank of oxygen.
Kohli started his career with the Indian Navy, but rising to the top of the white snowy peaks from the blue seas was his sole aim, and he achieved his greatest triumph when he led a team of nine climbers to the top of Mt Everest in 1965.
The entire team was conferred upon with Arjuna awards. Later Kohli was awarded the Padma Bhushan. A conservationist at heart, Kohli with Sir Edmund Hillary established the Himalayan Environment Trust to spread awareness about the importance of preserving the ecology around the mountain chain.
Kohli has won admirers in Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan because of his conservation efforts.
"Somehow we Indians, despite our religiosity, have not learnt to respect nature and its beauty. People go on vacations to the Himalayas, but what they leave behind is a trial of destruction in the form of waste. We should stop this," he says.
Author of many best sellers including Nine Atop Everest, Spies in the Himalayas, One More Step (his autobiography), Kohli continues to inspire many through his adventure stories. Kohli is hopeful that his latest mission would be as successful as his other past ventures for the goal this time is to "transform the youth of India".