TODAY -

Miss Anita Gurumayum
- Awarded "Padmashree" 2004 for her contribution to Mountaineering (Adventure)-

By Donny Meisnam Luwang *


Anita Gurumayum will always be known for her spectacular performances in the mountaineering or trekking which had given many contributions and made feel Manipur proud of her.

Though there have been many trekkers through out the country before her who have engraved their names on the roll of honour, but Anita Gurumayum is the only trekker of Manipur who touched the heights of highest mountains existing in the world that no other trekker of the state could outdo her.

Anita Gurumayum

In the recent years she has brought much glory and honour to her state as well as country in the field of mountaineering, and in fame she outdone many other Indian women sports person till date. And she is the first sports woman of Manipur to receive the most prestigious award of the country "Padmashree" in the year 2004 by the President of the Republic of India in recognition of her outstanding contribution to Mountaineering (Adventure).

Anita Gurumayum was born on 1st January 1967 at Uripok Road Achom Leikai, Imphal and since birth she has a curiosity to climb the high range hills and go for trekking which she later devote till now for mountaineering and other activities related to it.

She have trekked non-stop for a distance of 1600 kilometres covering the nine hill ranges of Manipur at altitude ranging from 2,500' to 10,000' above msl in 1985 and which duration was only 67 days which was organized by the Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association.

Besides her enthusiasm in mountaineering and trekking, Anita Gurumayum also had her formal education from Manipur, she passed out her matriculation from Tondon Sana high School which was situated at Uripok, Imphal and later pursued her graduation and master from NG College and DM College of Arts, Manipur.

Anita has her course of mountaineering from various institute located inside the country some of them are in 1985 she undertaken the adventure course from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Darjeeling under the guidance of the Late Tenzing Norgay and in 1986 she had basic course in Mountaineering from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling under the guidance of Mr. Nawang Gombu and in 1987 she had advance course in Mountaineering from the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling under the guidance of Mr. Dorjee Lhatoo.

In 1991 Anita Gurumayum was selected to be a member of 1st Women Pre-Everest Expedition to Mount Kamet (Altitude 25,447') and Mount Abi Gamin (Altitude 24,130') in 1991 and she was 100 feet short of the Kamet peak when bad weather and zero visibility forced the entire team to turn back and shortly after she scaled Abi Gamin.

And in the year 1992 the Indian Mountaineering Foundation short listed the names from amongst the earlier expedition and announced the names of the climbers for the 2nd Pre-Everest Expedition to Mount Mamotstang Kangri (Altitude 24,147') in the Karakoram Ranges and this peak is a very technical peak and no woman have ever succeeded in climbing it earlier and was selected the very best for actual climb and attempt of Everest and was also a member of the 2nd party that set out to climb Mamostang Kangri. She led the steady pace towards the peak and soon overtook the first women climbers to set foot upon Mamostang Kangri.

And it was in the same year during the closing function of the Prag Himalayan Mountaineering and Tourism meet at Guwahati and Miss Mamata Banerjee then Union Minister o State for Youth Affairs and State who was the Chief Guest of the function made a very important announcement. Mamata Banerjee said that the Indian Mounteering Foundation was organizing a Women's Expedition to Mount Everest in 1993 to be led by Miss Bachendri Pal and that Miss Gurumayum Anita would be representing the entire North East region comprising of seven states in the Women's Expedition to Everest.

Anita Gurumayum receiving the prestigious "Padmashree" from (then) President of India, Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam

It was a important day for all mountaineers men and women of the North Eastern and Anita till date been the only person to have climbed over 25,000 feet a feat which none including men climbers of the North Eastern region accomplished and now she has been selected to attempt Everest.

In the year 1993 the Indo-Nepalese Women's Everest Expedition left New Delhi and on 5th May 1993, Anita along with her fellow climbers were standing at the South Summit of Everest just 72 metres short of the peak but unfortunately they had return as the weather became exceptionally bad and waist deep snow started falling.

The Indian Mountaineering Foundation in its commerative souvenir on the Expedition described Anita as "The Star of the North East who had walked non stop for 22 hours from South Col tothe South Summit of Everest and back to South Col".

Highly conversant with Mountain Manners and Social Lifestyles of the Hill peoples of Indian and Nepal and the Himalayan Environment and Eco-system, Anita has come a long way to fulfill her dream of trekker.

Anita Gurumayum during a trekking expedition

Currently she is serving as Senior Instructor with Manipur Mountaineering Institute and also serving as a Guest Instructor with Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling and the Exlores and Adventure, Bombay. And apart from instructor she is also the Vice-President of Manipur Mountaineering and Trekking Association (MMTA), Imphal. She is also a associate member of Indian Mountaineering Foundation, New Delhi as well as Hon'ry Member of National Adventure Foundation, New Delhi and Joint Director of Education (S), Government of Manipur.

For her contribution in the field of Mountaineering which has given a new hope to every and upcoming trekkers and in recognition for her work she has been awarded the National Adventure Award in 1994 and participated in the Vijay Rally (Delhi to Kargil) during Kargil War and also participated in the 1st International Women Mountaineering Meet at North Wales (UK) in 1998 sponsored by British Mountaineering Council, London. She is also awarded People's Choice Life-Time Achievement Award by the North East TV, Guwahati.

The name of Gurumayum Anita will always be remembered with reverence in the adventure of mountaineering world for her remarkable achievements. Today she is staying with her husband at Tera Sapam Leirak, Imphal with one son, who had always been a supportive to her in any activities which she have taken up relating to mountaineering since they got married in 2000.

Browse a picture gallery on Ms. Anita Gurumayum here.


* Donny Meisnam Luwang is a young Manipuri writer / reporter based at Imphal. He is a regular contributor to e-pao.net.
This article was webcasted at e-pao.net on 13 December 2009.


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