Odisha pays tributes to mountaineer Kalpana Das

Bhubaneswar: Eminent personalities from across Odisha paid their last tributes to mountaineer Kalpana Das after her body arrived in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. Her mortal remains were earlier flown to Delhi from Kathmandu yesterday following completion of formalities at the base camp, Lukla.

The 53-year-old mountaineer, Kalpana hails from Dhenkanal district and died while descending from Mount Everest on May 23. She was the first woman mountaineer from the State to scale the Mount Everest when she reached its summit on May 21, 2008.

A large number of people including government officials thronged Bhubaneswar airport to pay tributes to the first woman mountaineer from the State who scaled the Mt Everest. Later, Kalpana’s body was kept at Kalinga Stadium for the public to pay tributes.

“Kalpana will remain alive in our hearts forever. We are a little sad that she could not enjoy the success which she would have got after conquering the highest peak of the world,” said Kalpana’s brother.

The last rites of the mountaineer was conducted at her native village in Dhenkanal and later her mortal remains was taken to Puri Swargadwar for cremation.

Odisha Women and Child Welfare Minister Tukuni Sahu said, “It is a great loss for the people of Odisha and we will certainly hope that the State produces another Kalpana Das. The Steps government will take necessary steps to preserve her  memories.”

“It was an unfortunate incident and we pray for the departed soul,” said sports minister Tusharkanti Behera.