Published: August 29, 2020 9:04:19 am
The Tenzing Norgay Award in the land adventure category has been held in abeyance pending inquiry, initiated by the government on the eve of Saturday’s National Sports Awards ceremony.
Narender Singh Yadav was declared the winner of the prestigious award, named after the first man to reach the top of Mount Everest, by the sports ministry last week. But soon after, questions about the claims and achievements of Yadav, 26, surfaced.
The sports ministry opened an investigation into the claims after Norgay’s son, Jamling, requested Indian Mountaineering Federation officials to raise the issue with them. “I had talked with some of the Indian Mountaineering Federation officials and told them to raise this issue with the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs,” Jamling told The Indian Express.
Yadav was one of five persons selected for the Tenzing Norgay Award – the country’s highest honour for adventure sports. He was due to be felicitated by President Ramnath Kovind in an online ceremony on Saturday.
The Sports Authority of India (SAI), on Friday, released the list of awardees who will attend Saturday’s ceremony, which will be held remotely owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Yadav’s name was not included in it. “Following the allegations that have surfaced, a probe has been ordered. It has not yet been decided who will head the investigation but until it is over, the award has been put on hold,” a ministry official said.
The controversy broke after a report published in a Nepali newspaper on August 23 raised a red flag. Jamling said the issue ‘should not be taken lightly.’
He added that the government should revise the criteria for the adventure awards. “The adventure awards should not be bestowed because of somebody climbing Mt Everest. Instead, they should be given for promoting mountaineering and adventure sports, as well as to someone who plays a part in exploring new routes or scaling new peaks consistently. Such people should be an inspiration to other adventurers,” he said.
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