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Saroj Kumari – First Lady IPS Officer for Scaling Mount Everest

Saroj Kumari, the first lady IPS officer selected for scaling the world’s top mountain peak. From detecting crimes and maintaining law and order, this 32-year-old IPS officer is the first woman officer from Gujarat to climb Mount Everest.

Till now, as many as 240 people had died attempting to climb Mount Everest. Avalanches, rockslides, blizzards, falls, altitude sickness, freezing temperatures, exhaustion and combinations thereof have all proven fatal, particularly in the so-called ”death zone” above 26,000 feet. Since getting them down is grueling and dangerous, most of the corpses remain buried in snow and untracked.

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Tensing Norgay and Edmund Hillary scaled Mount Everest in 1953 for the first time. Everest presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, wind as well as significant objective hazards from avalanches and the Khumbu Icefall. While the overwhelming majority of climbers use bottled oxygen in order to reach the top, some climbers have climbed Everest without supplement oxygen.

It was in 1965, when a 21-man Indian expedition, led by Lieutenant Commander MS Kohli, succeeded in putting nine men on the summit of Everest. India thus became the fourth country to scale the world’s highest mountain.

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Saroj Kumari, a 2011 Gujarat batch IPS officer posted as additional superintendent of police (ASP) at Surat (Rural), is the lone woman officer from country selected by Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and central government to attempt the first all India services expedition to the world’s highest mountain to commemorate the golden jubilee of the first Indian ascent to the summit in 1965.

The team consisted of five civil servants, including 2 IPS, 2 IAS and one IFS officers. It was led by Mr. Ravindra Kumar, an IAS officer of the 2011 batch. The other officers included Ms. Saroj Kumari, IPS-2011; Mr. S. Prabhakaran, IFS-2011; Mr. Vikram Jindal, IAS-2012; and Mr. Suhail Sharma, IPS-2012. The expedition carried the banner of Swachh Bharat to the peak.

Following the powerful earthquake in Nepal and other Northern parts of the country of about 7.5 magnitudes on the Ritcher scale, the state police department, in particular, was worried about the well-being of the lone lady IPS officer.

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Saroj comes from a modest background has always been afraid of heights. An after cracking civil service examination, she overcame this fear. Saroj told, “It’s a privilege to be part of the expedition. I want to set an example before the youth, especially women to pursue mountaineering which helps develop confidence and give them a chance to understand the spirit of mountain and nature.” “I am an athlete and will remain an athlete forever. I participated in the marathons in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, and Surat.T hese things helped me to realize that I should pursue the adventurous activities,” said Saroj.

She is an expert trekker. Saroj pursued her basic course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute at Darjeeling in November last year and secured A-grade by climbing Renok peak at 16,500 feet in West Sikkim.

2015 marks the golden jubilee of the first-ever Indian expedition to Mt Everest in 1965.

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