Neeraj Chaudhary, an alumnus from IIT Delhi had tested positive for COVID-19 on 27 March, the same day he was set to climb the Mount Everest from Kathmandu.
Speaking to news agency PTI, Chaudhary said that he reached Kathmandu amid the uncertainty posed by the pandemic with the rest of the team to begin the expedition, but hit a roadblock when he tested positive for COVID and had to return to Jaipur.
But seven weeks after recovering from COVID, Chaudhary scaled Mount Everest on 31 May and ultimately managed to hoist IIT's flag, as well as the Tricolour, atop the summit.
"It wasn't easy mentally, and mountaineering is not just a physical effort. When I reached there, it took me three attempts within 36 hours to ultimately reach the top. But once there, it was the best feeling. I managed to scale the peak on 31 May."Neeraj Chaudhary
Chaudhary (37) and did his MTech in Environmental Sciences and Management from IIT Delhi between 2009 and 2011 and is currently working with the Rajasthan Government Water Resources Department.
Chaudhary's interest in mountaineering began in 2014. In 2020, he was selected as a member of Indian Mountaineering Foundation Everest Expedition under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
He also credited IIT Delhi for shaping his career and the alumni association for helping him start a fundraiser of Rs 24 lakh for the Everest expedition, PTI said.
IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao, who called it a "matter of great pride", told PTI that Chaudhary started the summit push directly from Camp-II (6,400m AMSL) on 30 May and after reaching the summit on 31 May, he directly returned to Camp-II in a continuous effort of almost 36 hours.
(With inputs from PTI)