06/16/2021, 13.54
INDIA
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Young Catholic from Arunachal Pradesh reaches the top of Everest

by Nirmala Carvalho

Abraham Tagit Sorang, 24, succeeded with the support of his local Catholic association. On the roof of the world, he placed a rosary in the snow. Now he hopes trekking can create jobs in the area which still has many untouched peaks. For the Bishop of Itanagar, he is an example for all young people.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Abraham Tagit Sorang has become the youngest climber from Arunachal Pradesh to reach the summit of Everest.

The 24-year-old, who is a member of the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association, reached the top of the world's highest peak on the morning of 31 May and returned home last Sunday, 13 June.

An ethnic Nyishi and a native of Sepaha, a village in Kra-Daadi district, Sorang attends St Mary’s Parish in Itanagar, where he was responsible for young people and active in community life.

Reaching the top of Mount Everest “did not come easy,” he said. “It took four years to begin my climb. Among the many other factors, financial constrain almost stopped my journey.” Fortunately for him, the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association (APCA) came to his aid.

“Had it not been for APCA, my journey to Mt Everest would not have even started,” said the young man.

“They began a crowd funding campaign through their WhatsApp group to help me with the required funds.” What is more, “I have been blessed by the prayerful support of people across the state and the powerful protection of Mother Mary.”

Sorang is particularly devoted to Our Lady. On Everest he brought with him a small statue of the Virgin, which he placed on the snow along with a rosary, as seen in the picture he shared on social media, along with another shot that shows him with the flag of the Catholic association.

“I was baptised into the Catholic Church in 2000,” he told AsiaNews, but “my parents were Baptists. I studied at the St Claret School from pre-school and felt a strong call to be a Catholic.”

“After my mother died in 2003, Mother Mary became my mother and, on every expedition, I have carried my Rosary and a picture of Mother Mary.”

For Bishop John Thomas of Itanagar, Sorang is a model for all young people, Father Felix Anthony told AsiaNews.

“Although from a remote village, he was not defined by his milieu. He strove to excel and Everest was the target he set for himself,” said Fr Anthony. “May he inspire the young people of Arunachal Pradesh, beset by unfavourable situations, to search for higher peaks on their path to success.”

Arunachal Pradesh State authorities and Federal Minister for Youth Kiren Rijiju also congratulated the young Catholic.

For its part, Sorang hopes that this venture will inspire the local government to take measures to develop adventure tourism in the state.

“Many peaks in Arunachal Pradesh have not yet been scaled, like the Kangto Peak,” Sorang noted. “With adventure tourism many unemployed youth can earn a living as guides, porters or even as trekking organisers in the State.”

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