Nine Bravehearts of Chhattisgarh did wonders in climbing the base camp of Everest. Four such people in this group are differently-abled.
They completed the climb of 5364 metres of Everest Base Camp in 10 days. All of them accomplished this mission after being inspired by the mountaineer Chitrasen Sahu. Chitrasen himself, having lost both his legs in a train accident, climbs with the help of prosthetic legs.
Chanchal Soni, 14, is a resident of Dhamtari. She has climbed the base camp of Everest with one leg and crutches. Chanchal has participated in wheelchair basketball competitions since the age of 12. She said, “I have been practising for a year. Every day, I used to walk from Rudri to Gangrel Dam, about 12 km. Many times I also went to the surrounding forest and mountains.
Chanchal participated in the Rajim Kumbh Mela 3 years back. Chitrasen, the team leader, learned that Chanchal was interested in trekking. He contacted Chanchal’s family members through some social media posts. After this, she became a part of this Everest Base Camp mission.
21-year-old para judo player Rajni Joshi is battling low vision. She said snow fell during the climb, and the stick slipped while climbing the snowy hills. There was a fear of falling. There were also staggering times, as oxygen decreased as we reached the top, causing breathing problems. It was freezing because of the snowfall. Before trekking, she used to walk about 12 km daily with her partner Chanchal for practice. Along with Chanchal, Rajni also liked to climb the mountains, due to which she reached Everest Base Camp.
Anwar Ali, 36, climbed with the help of a prosthetic leg. He said that for the first time in his life; he celebrated Eid outside. After reaching a height of 5364 metres, he prayed there. Due to the bumpy roads, there was much it was difficult to maintain balance, and in walking in the snow. Earlier I went to the highest peak of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Anwar Ali has donated blood more than 60 times so far. Anwar’s leg got amputated in an accident.
Nikki Bajaj, a resident of Raipur, is a transwoman. She is the first person in the state from her community to climb Everest Base Camp. 31-year-old Nikki works as make-up and hairstylist in Raipur and Mumbai. There was a time when mainstream society shunned them because of their identity. But to make her mark, Nikki completed this mission.
Apart from these, Gunjan Sinha (25) who is a digital marketer/film-maker, Pemendra Chandrakar (38) trekker/mountain photographer, Raghavendra Chandrakar (47), and Ashutosh Pandey (39) are among those who climbed Everest Base Camp.
Mountaineer Chitrasen led this mission. He said that Chhattisgarh Government’s Social Welfare Department, Minister Anila Bhendia, and Collector Balod Janmejay Mahobe supported him to create attachment toward adventure sports in the youth.
Our only objective behind this is empowerment and awareness, to give social acceptance to people who lose any part of their body from birth or after an accident.