Gracias! Saying Thank you, from Spain


Uttarkashi; Guests are Gods in the Land of the Gods. The then Uttarkashi District Magistrate Dr. Ashish Chauhan, who went the extra mile, helping a stranded Spanish mountaineer who had lost his way, like many others do, in the tough terrain of Garhwal Himalaya two years ago had no idea how his gesture had left an indelible impression on the one he helped.

Dr. Ashish Chauhan, touching lives..

Juan Antonio Padilla, in his early 40’s, a passionate Spanish mountaineer was on his first visit to India in 2018. He had chosen to climb Sathopanth, but lost his way on his way back. Had it not been for the timely rescue efforts of the District administration team, things could have taken a turn for the worse.

Fast Forward to 15th August, 2020. Antonio and his well-known opening partner, David Resino have been climbing in a hidden or little-traveled area of ​​the Central System or the Dark Channels, on the south west face of Gredos, Spain. Having the opportunity to open avenues and ‘baptize’ them has always been the enthusiastic mountaineer’s dream. This alpine area is somewhat hidden on the west face of Almanzor. It is recognized throughout Spain for its steep, difficult and treacherous terrain.

In gratitude for being able to go back alive and meet his eleven year old son, Antonio, connecting over a rather ‘iffy’ internet tells me: “I have christened one of its never-climbed points “Magistrate’s Point” and the access road “Via Ashish.” This is in memory of India and what people like Mr. Ashish mean to me. It has left an indelible impression on me.”

Sharing the story and images of the summit on social media, the former District magistrate was pleasantly surprised and humbled by the gesture saying, “I was just doing what I was trained to do!”

Stories like these are heartwarming. They bring home the eternal truth that the world is, indeed, one large family. Small wonder we in the East say: Vasudeva Kutambakam.