An Indian expatriate living in Qatar has achieved a rare feat of climbing Kilimanjaro mountain peak, which is Africa’s highest peak and the world’s tallest free-standing mountain.
Rajesh Mandge, who has been an employee of Qatar Gas for the last eight years, climbed 19,341 feet to reach Uhuru Peak, the highest point of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
hile most people who reach the peak hoist their motherland’s flag on the peak, Rajesh Mandge, “out of his love for his workplace” decided to hoist the Qatar flag as well Indian flag.
“Qatar National Day was the motivation for this expedition. I planned the programme in December and reached the Uhuru Peak,” Mandge told The Peninsula newspaper.
“In Indian culture, janmbhumi (birth place) and karmabhumi (workplace) are the most important places. And without doubt we must work to any extent to maintain their dignity and prestige,” he added.
“Hosting a Qatar and India flag at Uhuru Peak was a sentimental moment for me. It is an honour for anyone to host and salute a flag which is an utmost pride for any person. As per my best knowledge, it was the first time in last decade when someone hosted a Qatar and Indian flag at Uhuru Peak.”
On his future plans, he says: “I want to climb Mount Everest and hoist flags of India and Qatar on it. I want to represent India and Qatar also in European cycling marathon Geneva.”
On his expedition experience, he said that it was sleepless and restless. “You won’t get even basic food, shelter and drinking water. Sometimes we need to manage with shrubs root to get water and energy.”
But, he said, it had charms too like enjoying clear sky and watching bigger and brighter stars. “There was an entirely different world to experience; close encounter with mountains and valleys and passing through glacier is an unforgettable feast.”
At 5,895m, Uhuru Peak remains the highest point in all of Africa and marks the spot of the jauntily angled summit sign where weary travellers are seen snapping their ‘victory’ photographs.
This post was originally published on 24 December 2016.