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Final Goodbye: With A Heartbroken Family, Odisha Pays Last Respects To Kalpana Dash


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02 June 2019

Snigdha Chandan Das


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Bhubaneswar: After several delays in completion of formalities and air travel, first Odia Everester Kalpana Dash’s body reached Bhubaneswar today morning and people thronged Kalinga Stadium to pay their last respects to the departed soul.

A somber mood prevailed as the mortal remains of the daring soul touched Biju Patnaik International Airport at 9:30 am. Immediately after that, the body was taken to state-of-the-art Kalinga Stadium where all arrangements had been made by Odisha Government’s Sport & Youth Affairs Department.

Kalpana’s family broke down on seeing her body in the sports complex. Her mother cried uncontrollably and was consoled by other relatives. Over hundreds of youths and denizens gathered to get a last glimpse of Kalpana and the whole of the State united to bid a tearful adieu to their daughter. Eminent personalities from the field of sports, film and politics, including new Sports Minister Tusharkanti Behera and Secretary Vishal Dev also prayed for the soul to rest in peace.

Paying homage, Behera said, “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."

After Bhubaneswar, Kalpana's body was taken to her hometown Dhenkanal where neighbours, relatives and locals bid a tearful adieu to Kalpana.

It is notable to mention here that, Kalpana’s mortal remains was brought to Bhubaneswar by a three-member team that included her brother Pradip Dash. Due to extreme weather conditions, it took the sherpas almost a week to retrieve her body and bring it to the base camp Lukla from the Everest balcony, where she breathed her last on May 23 during her decline.

Odisha Government was constantly working in tandem with Indian Embassy in Nepal to bring Kalpana back to her soil as soon as possible.

"State Government 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,” Behera added.

Kalpana Dash was an Indian lawyer and the state’s first Everester. She first scaled it in 2008 and later trekked several mountains across Europe, South America, North America and Africa.

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Tusharkanti Behera, Sports & Youth Affairs Minister, Odisha

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Tukuni Sahu, Women & Child Development Minister, Odisha

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Pradip Dash, Brother of Kalpana

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Ganesh Jena, Mountaineer