With Rs 5 lakh loan and making time to train alongside hectic job as a policeman, Auragabad constable becomes the first from Maharashta police to scale Everest
For police constable Rafiq Shaikh, this is literally his on-top-of-the-world moment. The 29-year-old successfully scaled Mount Everest on May 19, making him the first official from the Maharashtra police to scale the world’s highest peak. Mid-day caught up with him while he was en route to South Base Camp.
Constable Rafiq Shaikh is the first Maharashtra police official to scale Everest
The young summiteer started on May 17, along with nine others, but out of that eight could make it. This wasn’t Shaikh’s first attempt, however; he has earlier attempted in 2014 and 2015, but natural calamities bode it unfavourable. Now, despite the many challenges that come with scaling this mountain, Shaikh’s resolve has come in handy. “Climbing Mount Everest has been a dream since childhood and now I have finally achieved it,” said Shaikh.
Shaikh climbs his way to Everest’s peak
Shaikh was placed with the Aurangabad Rural Police as constable in 2006. Born in Bihar, Shaikh shifted to Aurangabad with his joint family of five brothers. After his graduation, Shaikh completed a few diploma courses in mountaineering.
The young unmarried constable’s Everest dream, which cost him R10 lakhs, has come true with financial help from friends and family, and also a loan of R5 lakhs. While the police department has not sponsored his venture, Shaikh warmly recounted the moral support he received from his colleagues and bosses. “I used to train six days a week, from Monday to Saturday, by going on treks, exercising and also cycling for 7-8 hours a day. I could make time for these activities since my bosses gave me the liberty to accomplish my dream,” Shaikh said.
Balancing his hectic life as a policeman and his passion for scaling heights, Shaikh said that he still managed to devote himself to his work and training only after his workday was over. Being in the police, a profession he was absorbed into given his fitness, in fact motivated him all the more, he added.
Talking about the difficulties of mountaineering, Shaikh explained that he needed to pay attention to his diet, depleting oxygen levels, and keeping his wits about him. “You need to constantly think about what is a right move and what isn’t. One wrong step could prove to be so risky that you could fall, and people may not even find your body. So, we had to take utmost care of ourselves and be alert,” he said. Moreover, locals proved to be a boon by coming to his aide often.
About his plans for an encore summit, Shaikh said, “It is difficult to resume work and do this again on a repeated basis. When I go back to work, I will encourage other people, and especially my colleagues, to try out Everest. I also plan to help train and finance those who wish to scale Everest.”
One more taker
Maharashtra cadre IPS officer Suhail Sharma, posted as assistant superintendent of police at Mehkar in Buldhana district, was chosen as a member of the Golden Jubilee Mount Everest to climb in May.
He summitted on May 20, and was successful the day after Shaikh. While Shaikh took the Nepal route, Sharma took the China route. They were both from different groups.