President, PM condole Hillary’s demise


New Delhi : President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday condoled the demise of Mount Everest pioneer Edmund Hillary, describing him as a great adventurer who drew our attention to the grandeur of nature.

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Hillary, who was the first man to climb the world’s highest peak with Tenzing Norgay in 1953, died in a hospital in Auckland Friday. He was 88.

In her condolence message, Patil said: “Hillary represented the positive approach to life which was described by him after his conquest of Mount Everest.”

Conquering Everest showed his “ability to overcome challenges and problems”, she said.

“Apart from being a keen mountaineer, he was also sensitive to the needs of the people of the Himalayan region as he showed by devoting his time and energy to their welfare,” the president said.

She hailed Hillary for raising funds to construct hospitals and health clinics for the Sherpas of the region.

“He was also a conservationist who was acutely aware of the need to keep the environment around the Himalayan region clean,” the president noted in her condolence message.

Condoling the passing away of the adventurer, Manmohan Singh said: “I join millions of admirers of Sir Edmund Hillary in mourning his passing away. He lived an exemplary life of seeking to attain the seemingly unattainable and drawing our attention to the grandeur of Mother Earth.”

“Edmund Hillary dedicated his life to the preservation of our Himalayan heritage and inspired several generations of mountaineers world wide,” the prime minister said.

The prime minister also said while mourning Hillary’s passing away we must all seek inspiration from his sense of adventure, enterprise and his love of nature.

“I convey my sincere condolences to his family, to the people of New Zealand and to mountaineers across the world who have been inspired by him and to all the brave Sherpas, who are a mountaineer’s companion,” Manmohan Singh said in his message.