Former member secretary of National Sports Council and honorary president of Nepal Olympic Committee Rukma Shumsher Rana passed away last night at his residence in Battisputali.

According to his family, 85-year-old Rana had been undergoing kidney treatment for a long time. He died at 9:45pm last night. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

Rana, son of Nepali Congress co-founder Subarna Shumsher Rana, served Nepali sports for a long time in various capacities. He became NSC member secretary in 1993 for three years and led the country's sports governing body from 1997-1999. He was general secretary of the eighth South Asian Federation Games held in Kathmandu in 1998. He was president of South Asian Sports Federation from 1997-1999.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, also the Nepali Congress president, paid tribute to Rana at his residence. Deuba garlanded and draped Rana's body with the party flag. He was cremated at Pashupati Aryaghat today.

After serving the Nepal Olympic Committee as general secretary for six years from 1992, Rana led the NOC from 1998-2007. He also became executive committee member of the Olympic Council of Asia from 2003-2007 and was honoured with the OCA Merit Award in 2007 for his contribution to the Olympic Movement. He served the OCA as Media Committee president and was also appointed OCA Adviser.

Rana was elected vice-president of Asian Taekwondo Association from 1996-2000.

He was council member of Asian Athletics Association from 2000-2005.

Rana was the president of Nepal Taekwondo Association (1993-2009), All Nepal Football Association (1993-94) and Nepal Amateur Athletics Association (1998-2007).

After Dhruba Bahadur Pradhan took over the NOC in 2007, Rana led a parallel committee of the Nepal Olympic Committee and was nominated honorary president after the two parties agreed to merge last year.

NOC President Jeevan Ram Shrestha said Rana's demise was an irreparable loss for the Olympic movement in the country. "The NOC family is in shock as we have lost a friend," said Shrestha in a release. The NOC has decided to lower its flag to half mast for three days as tribute to Rana. NSC Member Secretary Ramesh Kumar Silwal offered the NSC flag on Rana's body and the sports governing body is organising a condolence meet to pay tribute to Rana.

Tributes and condolence messages poured in on social media after news of his demise. Olympian and fourtime South Asian Games gold medallist Deepak Bista said Rana's death marked the end of an era in Nepali sports, while former NSC Member Secretary Yubaraj Lama posted a condolence message on Facebook saying he "had excellent interaction during my tenure."

NOC Executive Secretary Sujan Lal Shrestha said the loss was a great one for the entire Olympic family & sports fraternity of Nepal. "His contribution to Olympic values and Olympic movement in Nepal will always be remembered," he wrote on Facebook.

Apart from his affiliation and dedication to the sports sector, Rana was also a successful businessman. He was the Managing Director of Dabur Nepal Pvt Ltd and headed the Nepal-India Chamber of Commerce and Industry from 1998-2002. He became a National Assembly Member in 1991 after the restoration of democracy.

Rana was appointed ambassador of Nepal to India from 2009-2011.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 12 2021, of The Himalayan Times.