Thiruvananthapuram: When friends and colleagues of 36-year-old Kerala government employee, Shaikh Hassan Khan toil hard to take and repay loans for houses and cars, this man takes loans to pursue his passion – climbing mountains.
Khan works in the Finance department at the State Secretariat and hails from Pandalam in Pathanamthitta district.
By now he has climbed Mount Everest and Kilimanjaro. Speaking to IANS over phone from Denver in the US, on Monday his next arduous trek commences when he starts to climb the third tallest peak, Mount Denali in Alaska.
Along with him are three Americans, one of whom was with him when they reached the Mount Everest peak, last year.
“I am planning to take five years` leave to reach my target, which is to climb the tallest peaks of 185 countries… Denali would be the third and in July, I will reach Russia and in August – Japan. For 2023, my target is to scale 15 peaks in various countries,” said Khan.
But then Khan has a mountainous problem before him as to achieve his target by 2028, he requires about Rs 2.50 crore.
“My Everest trip cost me Rs 3.5 million and the present one will be around Rs two million. The biggest element of cost is buying air tickets and boarding expenses. I am on the lookout for sponsors, not one, but multiple sponsors,” said Khan.
And Khan says by now he has an outstanding loan of Rs 2.5 million, which he incurred for his previous two expeditions.
“Since I have a state government job, getting bank loans is easy and I don`t need to build a house, as I have inherited one. I have a good track record too in repaying loans that was taken to pursue my passion. I have bought equipment, a must for my expeditions. So I am sure I will be able to achieve my target and help will come from some quarters,” added Khan.
His wife, a teacher by profession, chips in too, as she takes tuitions, while his biggest supporter is his six-year-old daughter, who will now be missing her hero, as he is busy pursuing his target.
Khan makes it sure that every peak he conquers, the Tricolour is hoisted. His motto apart from self-satisfaction is to carry the message of unity as well as make people aware about climate change.