Bhubaneswar: The mortal remains of Kalpana Dash, the first Odia to climb Mount Everest, arrived in the city from New Delhi on Sunday morning. Her brother Pradeep Dash accompanied it.
Kalpana, 53, had died while descending from the Everest summit on May 23.
The State Government had made all arrangements for the body to be received at the Biju Patnaik International Airport and taken to Kalinga Stadium Complex. Senior government officials, including the principal secretary, Sports and Youth Services, Vishal Dev and minister Tusharkanti Behera, were present at the airport. Thousands lined the roadside to pay respect to Kalpana.
“Kalpana Dash was an ace mountaineer who brought fame to the state. She was an achiever who led by example and even in her death she will continue to inspire young aspirants to scale great peaks,” minister Tusharkanti said while paying homage to Kalpana. “State Government also acknowledges the immense effort of the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, the search and rescue team of Sherpas and other officials, who undertook this herculean task, braced severe weather conditions and difficult terrain to repatriate the body of Lt. Ms. Dash and bring it back to her family members.”
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, eminent sportspersons and people were expected to pay their last respects to the departed soul. The body was to be kept at the stadium for an hour before being taken to Kumbhara Sahi in Kanchan Bazaar, Dhenkanal town. After performing the rituals, the body was to be taken out in a procession and kept at the mini-stadium there for people to catch one last glimpse of the braveheart. Later in the afternoon it was to be taken to Swarga Dwara in Puri for cremation.