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The IAS Hand in First South Indian’s Everest Summit

Retired IAS officer BP Acharya assisted Shekhar Babu in realizing his lifelong dream of climbing Mt. Everest. He helped him financially and supported him mentally, for his journey. His noble deed not only helped the mountaineer but also accelerated his corporation’s promotion and raised its revenue by 77 fold.

Isn’t life all about helping others progress and achieve their dreams? Well, for retired IAS officer BP Acharya, it surely is. As Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) from 2005-2009, the humble and kind officer went out of his way to help a young mountaineer fulfil his dream of climbing Mount Everest.

His noble deed not only helped mountaineer Bachinepally Shekhar Babu reach the summit of the world, but it also accelerated APIIC’s promotion and raised their revenue 77-fold!

Indian Masterminds spoke exclusively with former IAS officer BP Acharya and mountaineer Bachinepally Shekhar Babu, to know more about the Everest adventure. 

A HELPING HAND

Shekhar, a former tourism department employee at AP, had always wanted to climb Mount Everest. Climbing the mountain, however, was not as challenging as raising the necessary finances. Shekhar, who came from a low-income family, lacked the necessary resources. 

“One of my co-workers told me about Mr. Acharya’s helpful character and asked me to discuss my problem with him. I told him everything. He asked how much money I would need and promised to assist me as much as he could with funds from his own department,” Shekhar shared.

Now retired from IAS, Mr. Acharya told Indian Masterminds: “One thing that struck me was that he was the first South Indian to scale Everest. I watched his passion and helplessness and resolved to support him to my full capacity.”

Retired IAS officer BP Acharya and Shekhar Babu (extreme left in blue shirt)

PROMOTING APIIC 29,000 FT. ABOVE THE GROUND

Mr. Acharya had an idea while brainstorming methods to assist Shekhar. He requested Shekhar to take APIIC’s new logo to the summit and take a photo with it high in the clouds. This was one of the pivotal moments in APIIC’s five-year success.

He gave Shekhar the requested sum of Rs. 3 lakhs, which was sufficient for him to realise his goal. Shekhar kept updating the officer on his progress as he climbed towards the summit. Finally, on June 5, 2007, Shekhar reached the peak and shared a priceless photograph of himself with the APIIC emblem, on the top of the world! 

“We utilised the photo extensively in our APIIC advertising campaigns, which greatly aided us. With the joint efforts of my team, our organisation improved substantially, and we were overjoyed to see our turnover expand from 65 crores to 5000 crores in just five years!” Mr. Acharya said.

The officer with a trainee of Mr. Shekhar

MANY DREAMS CAME TRUE AT ONCE

Shekhar, the son of a lorry driver, became the first person from the South to conquer Everest, thanks to the former IAS officer who helped him. After achieving his dream, he realised that he should help other dreamers like himself achieve their goals. Thus, he established his own rock-climbing school in Bhuvanagiri, Telangana. 

“I was in tears the first time I reached the peak, in 2007. After years of labour, I was overjoyed to have reached the top. I am grateful for Acharya sir’s assistance. So many dreams would have died if he hadn’t done what he did, including my own,” Shekhar told Indian Masterminds.

Since its inception, his school has trained over 7,000 people in rock climbing. He trained 52 people to summit Mt. Everest, over 100 to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro, and over 200 people to summit various mountains in India and around the world.

He even coached Poorna Malavath, the world’s youngest mountaineer, who was just 13 years old when she reached the summit of Mount Everest!

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