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IIT alumnus conquers Covid blues to scale Mount Everest

Neeraj Chaudhary, IIT Delhi Alumnus (Photo: PTI)

An IIT Delhi alumnus, Neeraj Chaudhary, has achieved the spectacular feat of successfully scaling Mount Everest while starting on the arduous expedition merely days after recovering from Covid-19.

Chaudhary tested positive for COVID-19 on March 27, the day he was scheduled to embark from Kathmandu for the Mount Everest expedition and had to return home to Jaipur to recover.  “I hit a roadblock when I tested positive for Covid and had to return to Jaipur. I was feeling fatigued since a few days but I had no other symptoms," Mr Chaudhury told news agency PTI.

But he was in Kathmandu for the expedition in April to acclimatise with the team and eventually reached the summit on May 31 to hoist the tricolour and the IIT flag at the peak.

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"I think that motivation of not having a second chance anytime soon helped me push my body harder and there I was," PTI cited him as saying.

A formal ceremony was held at IIT Delhi on Friday to celebrate the achievement.

Mr Chaudhary, 37, did his MTech in Environmental Sciences and Management at IIT, Delhi during 2009-11 and he is presently employed with the Rajasthan government's Water Resources Department. 

He started participating in mountaineering expeditions in 2014, and in 2020 got selected as a member of Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) Everest Expedition under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. However, the expedition was postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

Also read:  China calls off climbing season at Mountain Everest to keep Covid-19 at bay

Crediting IIT Delhi for shaping his career and the alumni association for helping him start a fundraiser of Rs 24 lakh for the expedition, Mr Chaudhary took the IIT flag with him on the expedition. 

"It's a matter of great pride that an alumnus of IIT Delhi Neeraj Choudhary, MTech, (Shivalik hostel) successfully scaled Mt Everest summit  on May 31. Neeraj carried the IIT Delhi flag with him and hoisted it on Mount Everest. He started the summit push directly from Camp-II on May 30 and after reaching the summit on 31st, returned directly to Camp-II in a continuous effort of almost 36 hours," said IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao.