Nagpur: Renowned mountaineer Padma Shri Santosh Yadav was the chief guest at the RSS Vijayadashmi festival in Nagpur. She is the first woman to be invited at the Vijayadasami celebrations in Nagpur as the chief guest.
Welcoming the chief guest, RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohan Bhagwat said, “After worshipping the Shakti (Mother-Goddess) for nine nights (Navratri), on the tenth day – Ashwin Shukla Dashmi – that dawns with victory, we have assembled here to celebrate the Vijaydashami. The manifestation of all material and ethereal power is the Mother Goddess, she enables all resolves and grants us success. The Mother Goddess manifesting herself as Shakti is the basis of success of all noble and pure resolves and is imperative in establishment of purity and peace everywhere. Coincidently the delightful and honorable presence of today’s chief guest, Shrimati Santosh Yadav represents that Shakti and sentience. Twice, she has climbed the great heights of Gauri Shankar.”
Speaking on Nari Shakti, the Sarsanghchalak said, “In Sangh programmes, there is an old tradition of welcoming intellectual and accomplished women guests. The Shakha methodology of ‘Vyakti Nirman’ (Human-development) is being operated separately by Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Rashtriya Sevika Samiti. All other activities are carried out jointly by men and women. Bharatiya tradition has always thought with this vision of complementarily. However, this great tradition was forgotten and numerous limitations were placed on ‘Matri Shakti,’ our women’s power.”
Smt Santosh Yadav, while speaking on the occasion, said, “The Sangh swayamsevaks are working for the benefit of all, for the benefit of the entire world. I wish your work grows.”
“Our Sanatana Dharma and Samskriti teach us to have a balance of all the panchatattvas (five elements). We need to be healthy and that will enable us to pursue good things for the benefit of all,” she added.
“People used to ask me are you a Sanghi? At that time, I didn’t know about the Sangh. It is my ‘prarabdha’ that I am today here with you,” she said.
Santosh Yadav has been a mountaineer who made world record, by becoming the first woman in the world to scale Mount Everest twice. During her Everest mission in 1992, she saved the life of another climber, Mohan Singh, by sharing oxygen with him. She also tried to help a mountaineer who lay dying at the South Col but was unsuccessful in saving him. Santosh Yadav was awarded the National Adventure Award 1994 and Padma Shri in 2000.