Revered Mountaineer Mr. Sharad Owalekar has said "Contribution to any field done with the sole intention of earning any award is no contribution at all. All our activities in this field (of mountaineering) are never done with an intention of earning any award. Thus, this award is more of an appreciation from my mountaineer friends than just an award. Felicitation of a mountaineer by mountaineers!".
This is the reason why, this award is called the 'Girimitra Puraskar' ('Giri' means 'mountains' and 'mitra' means 'friend' in marathi).This 'Girimitra Puraskar' is awarded on an Annual basis by the Girimitra Sammelan, through 2005.
The state of Maharashtra is blessed with a glorious history in the field of mountaineering that spreads across 55 long years. Through these 55 years, with more than 200 successful expeditions in the mighty Himalayas, more than 1000 rock climbing expeditions in the Sahayadris and innumerable treks, mountaineers from our state have gained new heights and widened their horizons out of the comfort zone.
All these activities are deeply rooted with an urge of social obligation. The Girimitra Sanman awards were initiated with an intention to introduce our younger generations to this challenging world of adventure and to acquaint them with the renowned people who made important contributions to this field.
A committee of renowned and technically acclaimed mountaineers has been formed to act as a jury for these awards. The activities of this jury guided by carefully drafted definitions for every award and strict set of rules. The eligible awardees are felicitated with a duly authenticated certificate and a memento in the Girimitra Sammelan, held every year.
Girimitra Lifetime Achievement Award (1 no) - Awarded for the distinguished contribution made to the field of mountaineering through one's lifetime.
Girimitra Lifetime Achievement Award, Posthumous (1 no) - Awarded for the distinguished contribution made to the field of mountaineering through one's life, awarded posthumously.
Girimitra Mountaineer Award (3 nos) - Awarded to the experienced Mountaineers who have made important contributions for the growth, spread and development of the sport.
Girimitra Mountaineer Award, Posthumous (1 no) - Awarded posthumously, to such experienced mountaineer who, through his lifetime, made important contributions for growth, spread and development of the sport.
Girimitra Giribhraman Puraskar (1 no) - Awarded for successfully leading the activities of a mountaineering club or society across multiple years.
Girimitra Social Service Award (1 no) - Such award would be conferred on a mountaineer or a mountaineering club to felicitate mountaineering activities with an objective of social service.
Mountaineer of the year (1 no) - Awarded to such mountaineer to felicitate his or her commendable achievements in the sport of mountaineering through the past year.
Rockclimber of the year (1 no) - Awarded to such mountaineer to felicitate his or her commendable achievements in the sport of rock climbing through the past year.
Girimitra Sharad Owalekar Special Award (1 no) - Awarded to such mountaineer or mountaineering club for its innovative contributions to the field of mountaineering and allied sports.
The special feature of the aforementioned awards is that the monetary component of such awards is contributed collectively by various mountaineering clubs across the state of Maharashtra. This gesture of team work inculcates the tradition of mutual admiration amongst the mountaineering fraternity.
The memento and certificate for these awards has been designed by Mr Abhijeet Randive, a mountaineer himself!