Hari Budha Magar, a former Gurkha soldier who lost both legs serving in Afghanistan in 2010, has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his contributions to disability awareness. Living in Canterbury, Kent, the 44-year-old became the first double above-the-knee amputee to summit Mount Everest in 2023. This historical achievement highlights his mission to challenge perceptions about disabilities.

Magar joined the Royal Gurkha Rifles at 19 and stepped on an improvised explosive device (IED) during his deployment in Afghanistan. Following his injury, he dedicated himself to raising awareness about the capabilities of individuals with disabilities. Growing up in Nepal, where disabilities were often stigmatized, Magar experienced firsthand the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

In 2018, he successfully campaigned to overturn a ban in Nepal preventing people with disabilities from climbing Mount Everest. His climb in 2023 required specially designed prosthetic legs, underscoring the technical challenges he overcame. Magar continues his advocacy by aiming to climb the seven highest peaks on each continent, with plans to summit Mount Denali in Alaska next.

During his journey, Magar has raised over £800,000 for various charities and delivered motivational speeches globally. He emphasizes that despite physical disabilities, individuals can lead meaningful and successful lives. His recent recognition in the King’s Birthday Honours celebrates not only his mountaineering feats but also his ongoing work to improve lives and perceptions of people with disabilities.