This morning I received very sad news that my dear friend, Ravi Kumar, went missing after scaling the Mount Everest yesterday. He scaled the highest point on the Earth yesterday afternoon, but while descending he went missing in “death valley”: the place where the air gets thinner and thinner. His guide was found unconscious after the frostbite. Ravi Kumar is still missing.
I knew Ravi Kumar through Keval Ukey, who helped Ravi connect with people in Maharashtra. We all traveled together in Marathwada just a couple of years back. It was great to see Ravi Kumar’s undying love for his people and community. He scaled all the important peaks in the world and his eyes were on the highest of them, the Mount Everest. Everywhere he went, he took Babasaheb’s photograph with him. He wanted to send the photo of his displaying Babasaheb Ambedkar when he scaled the highest point on the Earth.
An extraordinary man, he always showed that commitment and focus to what he desired to achieve. He came from a marginal family, but his imaginations soar higher and higher with each mountain he scaled. Scaling the Mount Everest is not just a matter of determination, but one needs to mobilize resources to be able to undertake such a venture. The cost involved is around 20 lakhs. He had none. He went to every single person he thought would be helpful to mobilize much-needed resources for scaling the Mount Everest. It was the dream. He lived his dream. We dream but hardly have we worked for it. Ravi has been an embodiment of will and determination to
It was the dream. He lived his dream. We dream but hardly have we worked for it. Ravi has been an embodiment of will and determination to realize his dreams. He taught me vicarious lessons in the mountaineering and with his sharing of experiences I was thrilled and enchanted and even transferred my mind to those highest peaks that he scaled.
We do not know where he is missing in the highlands of Himalayas, but he has influenced so many people. He was often invited to give talks and he made it a point to talk about his social origin and Babasaheb Ambedkar. Few times, he lamented that he did not get much support from political people of his own clan. He is the fearless spirit and fighter. I hope that he finds his way back to where he belongs: to his people and his struggle not just against the mountains, but also against the mountains of caste created by human mind.
Author – Mangesh Dahiwale, Human Rights Activist