23 year old Nahida Manzoor would become the first Kashmiri woman to scale the Mount Everest. Nahida who lives in Zevan area of Srinagar outskirts had earlier sought public support through crowdfunding campaign online so that she would be able to achieve this feat. Nahida had urged the people to come out and support her dreams as she belongs to a middle class family which has financial constraints.
But Nahida is already on her way to conquer world's highest peak after scaling almost every mountain in the Kashmir valley. She has held a record for climbing the 3,966 metre high Mahadev peak in the valley and would now 5,975 metre high Swargarohini peak during the expedition. She was also the first Kashmiri female mountaineer to undertake a two months long expedition course with the NCC.
""It was my childhood dream to climb Mount Everest. Mountaineering is a very expensive sport and the expedition to the Everest costs Rs 30 lakh. After failing to get sponsors, I resorted to crowd-funding. I have climbed Mount Deo Tibba, Manali; Friendship Peak, Himachal Pradesh; Srinagar's highest peak Mount Mahadev; and Mount Tatakooti in Pirpanjal Range besides others. During my first hike as a 10-year-old, I had promised myself that one day I will climb the highest peak of the world," Nahida told The Tribune.
She said that she started scaling mountains at a very young age which was partly due to the reason she lived near them. She climbed the nearby peaks without any gear and was almost sucessful in all her attempts. Finally, she got enrolled in a professional mountaineering course which has made it possible for her to pursue her dream.
She later went on to conquer Mount Deo Tibba-Manali with a height of 6001 meters and Friendship Peak of Himachal Pradesh with a height of 5289 meters.
Nahida has received plenty of support from the local tourism officials who said that they are tracking the team which also comprises Reeza Ali, the youngest mountaineer from Kashmir to be scaling the world's highest mountain.
Reeza said that through his achievements he wants to establish a foundation which can raise awareness on climate change and environment. His love for climbing mountains also dates back to his childhood days when he would scale small peaks around his village for fun.