Jamshedpur : Thirty five years ago, Bachendri Pal became India’s first woman climber to scale Mount Everest. That momentous occasion is still etched in her mind and soul. The achievement still inspires her to scale more heights.
She achieved this feat just a day before her birthday on May 23, 1984.
Tata Steel organised a programme, ‘No Mountain Too High-Celebrating the Limitless Possibilities of Human Spirit’ — an interactive and inspiring session with Bachendri Pal and 10 other Everesters trained by her to mark the historic event at SNTI Auditorium.
In an informal interaction with the media Bachendri Pal said that great leaders of Tata Steel like JRD Tata inspired her to experiment. Going down memory lane, Pal, who was recently conferred the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India said that renowned mountaineer Colonel Premchand, motivated her to take a mountaineering course at Indian Mountaineering Foundation.
Born on 24 May 1954, in a village in the Himalayas named Nakuri in Uttarkashi district of Garhwal (now Uttarakhand), a state in the northern part of India, Pal was one of seven children to Hansa Devi and Kishan Singh Pal.
When Pal joined Tata Steel, her department was known as Welfare and Sports Department. When Bachendri Pal returned to Jamshedpur after her Everest expedition, she was given a grand reception at Rabindra Bhawan. There, the then Chairman and Managing Director of Tata Steel Russi Mody announced that a full-fledged department would be created and Pal would be made manager. This department was named as Tata Youth Adventure Centre. Later on this same department was renamed Tata Steel Adventure Foundation at the behest of Russi Mody.
Various programs were conducted in Dalma Hills like hill walking and mountain biking. Hundreds of people used to join from different colleges like Jamshedpur Women’s College and Jamshedpur Co-operative College. Earlier the GTs from Tata Steel used to go to Darjeeling for adventure sports. But when Pal joined and the department was there these people were enrolled for training under TSAF. Various programs were now conducted in the hill town of Uttarkashi.
Bachendri Pal took TSAF to new heights under her are able wings. She went to various places around the world to gain new knowledge and experience, like New Zealand, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, UK and USA.