Padma Bhushan awardee Bachendri Pal, chief, adventure programmes, Tata Steel & Director, Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) and the first Indian woman to scale Mt Everest, will be leading a trek to commemorative the silver jubilee of the 1993 Indo Nepalese Women's Everest Expedition (INWEE 1993). Pal had also led the 1993 expedition.
The 12-day trek, led by Pal, will cover 3,790 meters (mt) leg of the 8,848 mt stretch of the Mt Everest climb. The trek will include 10 women mountaineers and one technical advisor from the 1993 record breaking expedition (Bachendri Pal, Nimi Sherpa, Chandra Prabha Aitwal, Dicky Dolma, Savita Thapwal, Suman Kutiyal Datal, Radha Devi, Harsha Panwar, G Anita Devi, Dr. Rita Sharad Singh and Rajeev Sharma - Technical Advisor) and two additional members (Shamala Padmanabhan and Chetna Sahoo). Mr Rajeev Sharma was the Technical Advisor of the 1993 expedition team.
The commemorative expedition will start from Lukla and will retrace the INWEE 1993 route till Khumjung at 3,790 mt above the sea level. The expedition had taken the South-East Ridge route to climb Mt. Everest.
Bachendri Pal along with the expedition team and Chanakya Chaudhary, vice president, corporate services, Tata Steel, met the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The President conveyed his good wishes to the team and remarked on how this team proved to be an inspiration for others.
Bachendri Pal said, “For me, leading the first-ever international expedition from India to Mt Everest was the ultimate challenge and gave far greater sense of achievement than scaling Mt. Everest in 1984. The 1993 expedition that saw seven women reach the Summit of Mt Everest not only broke several records, but also became an inspiring story for women everywhere to come out with flying colors despite the steep challenges, figuratively and literally.”
“Through our work at TSAF, several chapters have been added to this inspiring story. This commemorative expedition is not just a trek down the memory lane but a reminder to women in every walk of life that there is nothing that is not within our reach if we are willing to stand up and deliver with guts, grit and gumption,” Pal added.