Mr Magar says that he will dedicate the rest of his life to helping others who have a disability conquer their own life goals, after returning from the 8,849-metre Mountain on Tuesday.
Former Gurkha soldier living in Britain, Hari Budha Magar, climbed Mount Everest last week, making him the first double above-the-knee amputee to accomplish the feat.
“My main aim for the rest of my lifetime is going to be working to bring awareness about disability,” says Mr Magar, speaking to journalists from the Associated Press on his return to Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal.
Hundreds of supporters and officials, including Nepal’s tourism minister, were there to meet him at Kathmandu’s airport and offer him garlands. He left the airport in an open truck decorated with flowers, waving to people along the way.
“We all have our own weaknesses and disabilities, but instead of the weaknesses we should be focusing on our strength, and only then, we can all lead a better and meaningful life,” he says.
Mr Magar lost both of his legs in Afghanistan during his time in the British army, when he accidently stepped on an improvised explosive device in 2010. He was born in a remote mountain village in Nepal and now lives with his family in the United Kingdom.
Hari has previously dealt with legal issues because Nepal’s government had banned people with a disability from climbing high mountains. A case was filed in the Supreme Court to overturn the ban, allowing Mr Magar to continue his plan to climb Everest.
“If a double above-knee amputee can climb Everest, you can climb whatever mountain you face, as long as you are disciplined, work hard and put everything into it,” he said.
On the way to the summit he ran out of oxygen in the tank he was carrying, although he was able to get more oxygen from his climbing partners whilst facing the chilly and horrendous weather conditions. He claims to have seen two dead climbers being recovered during the journey.
“This was the first time I experienced what it is to be deprived of oxygen. I had the tingling sensation, my hands and feet were cold and I was gasping for breath,” he said.
“My lifetime goal is to change the perceptions people have of disability. My life changed in a blink of an eye,” he says, recounting his lifelong journey in an online video, “but whatever happens, you can still lead a fulfilling life.”