By Arnab Mitra and Ila Garg
Born on June 20, 1951, and brought up in North Kolkata, Romen Banerjee is a veteran mountaineer. The scenic beauty of mountains had always attracted him, since his childhood days. He grew up to be the first civilian of India to conquer Mt Everest in 1971.
At the age of 20 when he was a second-year commerce student, he took conquering peaks as his mission. He along with six other members of Balak Sangha mountaineer club started their mission from the highest peak of the world, that is, Mt Everest. He successfully scaled the deadly heights of Mt Everest with the help of two sherpas, namely, Ang Tshering and Pemba Doorjie. It took him 11 days to reach the peak and complete his first mission.
It was on June 19, 1971, that he finally reached the peak, and was subsequently honoured by the West Bengal government for becoming the first Indian civilian to conquer Everest. This victory was enough for him to start off with the expedition of conquering all the prominent peaks of the world. His achievements include scaling the peak of Kanchenjungha in 1973, Nanda Devi in 1974, Sandakphu in December of 1974, Dodda Betta in 1975 and broad peak in 1977. He then joined IMF in 1981 and alongside managed two schools in Garwal.
Banerjee, at present, works as a teacher in Himalayan Mountaineer Association. He is also a member of IMF Eastern region. He actively participates in different camps and continues to inspire young mountaineering enthusiasts.