CHANDIGARH: It’s easier to climb Mount Everest than land a Haryana Police job.
That seems to be the belief of 15 young people on a spree to climb the world’s highest peak, not for glory or passion, but to land a plum position in the state police force.
In 2010, then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda sparked the trend when he appointed Everest climber Mamta Sodha a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) and rewarded Rs 21 lakh.
Since then, at least 15 young men and women from a state known for its prowess in boxing and wrestling have climbed the mountain in the hope of getting a top police job.
But the climb, one of the harshest in the world, proved easier than the reward. Of the 15 successful climbers, 12 have been denied the DSP job by Haryana authorities.
The crestfallen aspirants – hailing mostly from rural areas and having spent between Rs 17 lakh and Rs 22 lakh on the climbing expedition – first approached their village leaders to pressurise local legislators to convince the chief minister.
When that didn’t work, one of them approached the Punjab and Haryana high court, which decided in his favour on Tuesday. Now, four more have moved the court that will hear their plea on Friday. “We were promised government jobs but now we are hoping for justice,” said Narinder Singh of Kurukshetra, admitting that he climbed Mount Everest for a job in 2011.
He is part of a group of five people who scaled the peak in 2011. The government gave all five appointment letters as sub-inspectors in 2013 but no one joined.
“The government job was an incentive. We had put so much effort and money in doing the mountaineering course. With the government ignoring our feat, we have no choice but to move the court,” said Vikas Kaushik. His wife Sushma was already a police constable and was given a triple promotion to become a SI.
After them, five more climbers tamed Mount Everest but the government rejected their demand for a DSP position again.
One of them, Ram Lal from Fatehabad district, moved the high court that directed the government to give him the DSP position and Rs 21 lakh award in three months.
In 2013, the government had decided to reward Rs 5 lakh to Everest climbers in 2013 – if the aspirant didn’t hold a government job – but did away with the policy last year.