Nepal Earthquake: Students to Climb High Peaks to Contribute for Survivors

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Nepal Earthquake: Students to Climb High Peaks to Contribute for Survivors

A Nepali man sits on rubble during rescue operations following the earthquake. (Reuters)

Panaji:  A group of women from rural Maharashtra along with five students from five countries will scale high Indian peaks as part of a fund raising event to support the Sherpa community which has been left shattered by the Nepal earthquake.
     
"This effort is named Kriya-a student led initiative in UWC Mahindra College, that works with disadvantaged youth on physical fitness, confidence building and overcoming societal and self imposed limitations in the outdoors," said Maria Uzunova, faculty coordinator, originally from Republic of Macedonia, currently teaching in a Pune-based college.
     
She said the students will scale Stok Kangri (6150m) and Lungser Kangri (6667m) in Ladakh as part of the project which expects to raise $ 20,000.
     
Ms Uzunova said four underprivileged women from Maharashtra's rural village of Mulsui Valley near Pune would join the student climbers.
     
The month-long expedition is expected to take off on May 26.
     
"We are contributing part of the funds to Jane Goodall Institute Nepal, which is working to rebuild Dalit homes in the Nagarkot district in central Nepal. These funds will be disbursed to support Dalit families in the affected areas and will contribute to their long term recovery," said Malaika Vaz, the student team leader of the programme.

"The other half of the funds will go towards the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation, which supports Sherpa widows and families to mitigate the effects of loss of life, livelihood and homes to indigenous climbing communities in the Khumbu region in the foothills of Mt Everest," she added.
     
The Sherpa community forms the backbone of Nepal's climbing industry and takes great risks to provide for their families. The community has been hit hard for two years in a row, with an avalanche last April and now the earthquake.
     
"With the belief that women all around the world should be able to support themselves and that physical activity is always transformational, the women from Kriya will reach out to these widows," Ms Vaz stated.

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