Kudos for flying Arunachal flag high: Natung to duo

  • Body structure & flexibility make Arunachalees superior: Col Sarfaraj

By Pradeep Kumar

ITANAGAR, Aug 29: Arunachal Pradesh celebrated National Sports Day today (Saturday) with a difference as National Institute of Mountaineering & Allied Sports (NIMAS) director Col Sarfaraj Singh and engineer Taka Tamut received prestigious Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award, the highest national award, from President of India President Ram Nath Kovind during a virtual ceremony here on Saturday.

Addressing the event, organized here by Sports Authority of India, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister Mama Natung showered praises on the duo on behalf of the GoAP, his department and the people for winning the highest national award in recognition of their unparallel achievements, but first for this hilly state.

Saluting legendary sportsperson Major Dhyan Chand for winning numerous Olympic gold medals for which his birth anniversary is celebrated as National Sports Day, Natung said that Chief Minister Pema Khandu has given top priority to develop sports infrastructures across the state through a road map by building stadiums etc. Moreover, for expertise many MoUs have been signed too, he said.

The basic objective is to help hidden sports talents to sharpen their skills and win as many as Olympic medals possible and make Arunachal a sports power house.

Appreciating PM and Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for extending all possible support to sports sector, he exhorted one and all to make games and sports daily routine to  remain fit and healthy. “A society or a nation would be healthy if only the people remain healthy,” he said with conviction.

This day is celebrated annually with all medal winners but this was not possible this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, he added.

Tamut, a civil engineer, but a product of NIMAS, said that he choose mountaineering for his passion. More exploration in this hilly state would help engineering   to serve its purpose.

With jobs becoming scarce, an effective policy would encourage youth for mountaineering who would not look for jobs but earn more revenue for the state. He lauded the department for all supports to him for conquering Mountain Everest.

Pointing out that NIMAS located at Dirang is fourth such institute in India but unique for offering training in three fields of land, air and aqua, Col Sarfaraj said, while enlisting its various activities.

About 12 to 23 expeditions have been conducted to Mountain Everest (8,848-m, highest in the world), Mount Trisul (7120-m), Kanto-6, Gorichen (6858-m, highest peak in Arunachal Pradesh) and Baisakhi, he said, adding that an Army and civilian team including himself had conquered Kanto though none had succeeded in reaching its base camp earlier.

About 150-km length of Kameng River up to Bhalukpong is used for water rafting and a rafting by the Army and Bhutan Royal Army was conducted in 2018, he informed. Mountain terrain biking is also conducted through Myanmar, Thailand and Malaysia. A NIMAS team had covered this 4,000-km in 39 days, he said.

Moreover, the NIMAS has world’s longest golf course of 22-metre where local students of various schools in the age group of six to 12 are being trained on every Saturday and Sunday. Hopefully, some might win medals in ensuing annual golf tournament-2024 to be conducted by Professional Golfers’ Association of America, he said.

Moreover, he lauded state CM for extending all helps when ever sought for effective functioning of the institution.

While talking to this daily, both said that they having doing whatever possible and beneficial to others.

It may be recalled here that NIMAS was established in 52 acre campus after the Centre’s decision, but its infrastructures are still under construction. Located in West Kameng district on a hill (height 7000-8000 feet), it overlooks Dirang town and Sela Pass. The state-of-the-art campus with traditional style houses that accommodates hundreds of students when they are imparted theoretical and practical training.

Arunachal Olympic Association secretary general Abraham K Techi and Karate Association of India president Likha Tara, impressed with both for winning highest national honour, congratulated them for turning role models to encourage others to do so for wining more glory for the state.

Arunachal Olympic Association secretary general Abraham K Techi and Karate Association of India president Likha Tara, impressed with both for winning highest national honour, congratulated them for turning role models to encourage others to do so for winning more glory for the state.

Appreciating Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju for his pragmatic decisions, particularly hiking prize money of all national sports awards announced by him today, Hanshi Tara said it would have multiple effects, like giving a new thrust to sports sector, infusing competitive spirit among sportspersons for the best to rise to highest ladder for India to win more sports glory in times to come.

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