Shailee Basnet (Coordinator)
A graduate of Business Information Systems and a Post Graduate of Journalism, she works as a reporter for Himalmedia. She became interested in climbing and mountaineering because of the physical and mental challenges it poses, which are quite different from her line of work. Lack of involvement in any kind of sports during her early years made her interested in challenging her limits as she grew up.She made it to the summit of Everest on 24th May 2008. Recently, she has also started as a stand-up comedian and she aspires to be a scriptwriter someday, while continuing out-door adventure.
Asha Kumari Singh
Asha comes from Danuwar community from Meghrail, Mahottari. She comes from a society where women are barely aware of their rights, are supposed to get married off sooner than later and dowry is rampant. Thanks to her grandmother who thought Asha was the ugliest girl among all six sisters and hence thought it was necessary to educate her, in case nobody wanted her marry her. Asha, however, was not worried about her looks but coming from the flatlands of Terai, was always curious about high mountains. She came to Kathmandu for higher education and got an opportunity to join the Female Outdoor Leadership training in the Annapurnas in the year 2004. Given her background she challenged conventions and impressed naysayers when she started climbing. She made not only her community but also the entire nation proud as she stood on top of Everest on 24th of May 2008.
Hailing from a poor Kathmandu family, Chunu began working to help support her family while she was just a forth grader. Despite the financial hardships, when she heard about a women’s expedition being organized, she became inspired by the possibility of succeeding in adventure tourism to support her family. With FIWSE she was able to nurture her passion for the outdoors that she dreamt about during her long days of work. She reached the Everest summit on the 25th of May 2008.
Nim reached the top of Everest at 17 years of age becoming the youngest woman to do so. Despite her small stature, she is dauntless and a very good climber, who impressed everyone during the Basic Mountaineering Course. She had her own struggle on the personal front. Her father passed away while she was a tenth grader. Still she continued her education, subsequently becoming the first in her family to complete the School Leaving Certificate (SLC). She spent lonely childhood in Kathmandu away from her mother for education. She took care of household chores while other children played. But she knew her life was destined to be different than that of everyone else around her. When she learnt about First Inclusive Women Sagarmatha Expedition she knew this is what she was waiting for. At 17 years, she set foot on the top of the world on the 22nd of May 2008. She is ruling wall climbing national champion.
Pema Diki Sherpa
Pema Diki, is second of the three girls born to a struggling couple who moved to Kathmandu from Dolakha with nothing but the clothes on their backs. She had learning difficulty as a child. Her relatives looked at this family of daughters as weak and particularly Diki as a weakness. May 24th, 2008 changed all that. That was the day she bowed her head to Cholmolungma, the mother goddess of the world.
She says, “My parents never gave up on me and my teachers were always encouraging. That’s what made me who I am today.’ She has great faith in education and dreamt of being a teacher as a child. No wonder motivational talks for students is one of her favorite activities when not climbing.
Professionally, she is an experienced trekking guide. This former acupuncture assistant is also active in mountaineering activities outside of the 7 summits mission. She was part of expeditions to Mt Amadablam in 2011 and Mt Kamet in 2012. She aspires to travel and learn more in life and share her knowledge and experiences with youth all over the world.
Pujan worked as a human rights activist in Dolakha. From early on, despite growing in a society where women are supposed to stick to household chores, she had a passion for sports. In her village, she used to play with men for there wouldn’t be women players. An accomplished volleyball player and marathon runner, Pujan holds several awards for competition at the district Level. But that was not enough for someone who grew up at the foot of Rolwaling Himalayas. She gained her first mountaineering experience in 2003 when she completed Female Outdoor Leadership training. Finally she made it to the summit of Mt. Everest on 22nd of May 2008. She enjoyed a different taste of Everest and adventure as she skydived in the Everest region on 17th October, 2009 from 29,300 ft. During the cabinet meeting of Nepal Government held at Kalapatthar (5240 m), she actively participated as a venue manager. In 2011 she acted as a local liaison in organizing international race ‘Racing the Planet’ held in the Annapurnas.
Maya had a childhood marred with struggle and was an early rebel. She saw poor state of women both in her home and village. She always wanted to break free from it. In order to escape a forced wedding she ran away from home at the age of 14 not knowing where she was headed to. On return, her father had cut ties with her. In her community people started telling their daughters not to be like Maya.
At young age she took life at her hands. She tried hands on various fields including bowling where she reigned as national champion for four years. But nothing really satisfied Maya before she went ahead to join Basic Mountaineering Course and then to climb Everest. This rebel at heart finally lived her dream of climbing on top of the world on 22nd of May 2008, and became the first Gurung woman summiteer. She lived her long cherished dream of sky diving on 10th October, 2008 with Everest in the backdrop. Maya led the Mt Manaslu clean-up expedition as coordinator and also was active venue manager for the cabinet meeting of Nepal Government held at Kalapatthar (5240 m) on 4th December, 2009. Her dream is to see women empowered and educated so that they are at least able to stand up for themselves. Today her girls in her community say they want to be like Maya.