Why did five women journalists decide to climb Mt. Everest?
Text by Shreeti Pandey
Rosha Basnet first came up with the idea of climbing Mt. Everest in December 2016. A journalist with Rastriya Samachar Samiti, she then formed a team with four other women journalists and named the collective, Women Journalists Everest Expedition 2018 (FWJEE18).
With Deuralee Chamling (Dharan), Priya Laxmi Karki (News 24), Kalpana Maharjan (Megha TV), and Rojita Buddhacharya (Nepal TV) now also members of FWJEE18, Basnet’s idea finally came to fruition a year ago in June 2017.
With a mission to inspire people, especially the girls and youth, the expedition is going to start from the first week of April and will last up to 60 days. The 12-time Everest summiteer, Phurba Tenzing Sherpa, will guide them through their way.
The idea of the expedition was inspired by Rosha Basnet's fellow journalist, who had recently returned from a mountain trip. Rosha was so mesmerized after hearing her peer's experience that it strongly influenced her to climb the highest peak, Mt. Everest.
"We chose to walk together because we all carry the same mission," says Deuralee Chamling. With their hearts set on this thrilling and life-changing adventure, they have been training with dedication and commitment since June 2017, which included over one month of training on rope access, rock climbing, and wall climbing, followed by scaling Ramdhung Peak in November 25, 2017, and Yalendhung Peak in November 28, 2017.
When asked for the objectives of this expedition, Rosha Basnet said, "We decided to go to this extreme because we want to raise our voice not just by sitting on our desks, but from that magnitude, because we want to be heard even louder in Nepal and abroad."
These five women are on a courageous move to raise there their voice against critical issues, mostly those surrounding girls and women in Nepal, and all around the globe. Apart from empowerment, they are also on a journey to fulfill their journalistic responsibilities by bringing back their stories, which includes filming a day-by-day documentary from a journalistic perspective.
This expedition also aims to help promote local tourism and strengthen advocacy on social and environmental concerns, including sustainable mountain development, nature conservation, and gender equality. According to Rosha, she chose Everest climbing as a medium because Everest itself is a strong message for equity.
Undertaking this challenging journey, Rosha believes, will definitely be fruitful for bringing awareness inside and outside Nepal, and will prove to the world that if women make an effort, they can do wonders to change the world. She also expresses that this endeavor will help to change the stereotype of women being less capable of taking risks and challenges in their lives.
By reaching the peak of Mt. Everest, Rosha and her team will become an inspiring example to many women globally. After they come back, they have decided to spend a year telling their stories in different parts of Nepal and abroad to motivate youngsters. They want to tell people, "If we can do it, you can too".