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The first Assamese to climb Mount Everest, Tarun Saikia, who is suffering from a severe illness which is affecting his kidneys, is being treated in Chennai. Saikia who achieved the feat in 2013, has sought for the government assistance to overcome the crisis. The doctors attending the 45-year-old mountaineer have said that both of his kidneys are damaged. “We are here since February 7. We are clueless about what to do. Treatment is going on but it’s expensive for us to bear,” Saikia’s brother in law Badan Das told The Bridge from Chennai. The illness was first detected on January 25 at a private hospital in Guwahati. But when it deteriorated, the family members decided to shift him to Chennai Apollo on February 7. “For the kidney failure, it requires dialysis regularly. So, we need a huge amount of financial assistance. And it’s difficult for the family to bear the burden. We will be grateful if the state government can help is in some way,” Das added.
On May 18 in 2013, Saikia scripted history by reaching the top of the world.The expedition was sponsored by the North Eastern Council and the State Government of Manipur. He is reported to have loved adventure sports since his schooldays and he translated that passion to begin mountaineering with an adventure club at Gauhati College in 1989. Soon after his historic feat, the Assam State Government had announced a cash award of Rs. 20 Lakhs for him. He was offered a job by the state government after his achievement at the Director of Sports and Youths Welfare. Saikia hails from an economically poor background. He even had to drive an auto rickshaw to run the family after the death of his father. He has a one and a half-year-old son. The mountaineering fraternity and his friends are also trying to gather funds for the treatment.