By Reeta Rani Nayak
Furdiki Sherpa and Nima Doma Sherpa, two women reached the 8,850-metre (29,035- ft) peak of the world’s highest mountain Mount Everest this month. But the news is that they are poor helpless sherpa widows and in their country Nepal such women are supposed to take care of home and family not climb mountains. The duo who are not also educated did it for their families but took the foridden means- climbing the mountain which is also considered sacred.
Their husbands were sherpas too and died in the mountains during the climbing. They spent days crying in depairs in memory of their husbands. But after some time they realised that they also have to take care of their children, families, home and so many other things of life.
Furdiki’s climber husband died while fixing ropes for his foreign clients on Everest in 2013. A year later, Nima Doma Sherpa’s husband was killed along with 15 other Sherpas in an avalanche near the base camp. They had faced the grief of losing a partner, sole breadwinner and father to their children. On top of it there was social stigma that comes with being a widow in their conservative Himalayan country. But after their descent, they had said they would launch a charity to raise funds and help women, especially widows, learn new skills.
Their beginning was an arduous journey. With no savings , zero climbing experience and deep family reluctance the two widows faced a tough choice -raise awareness or stay with loved ones. For six months, they travelled in their country – home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains – and raised about $US40,000. With that money they got rigorous mountaineering training, which included a series of trekking and wall climbing courses. Both are now certified trekking guides. As it is in Nepal women trekking guides are very less.
But they hope with their success both by the means and by the end more women sherpas will come forward instead of mourning for life.
Source: Himalayan News Chronicle