Two Indian sisters, who entered the Guinness Book of World Records for scaling Mount Everest and the Seven Summits as the first women twins, are now planning to conquer Mount Cook, New Zealand's highest mountain. Nungshi and Tashi Malik, known as "Everest Twins" for their mountain climbing achievements, are in the UK to raise awareness for the 'Beti Bachao' campaign. They entered the Guinness Book of world Records as the first women twins to scale Everest and first twins/siblings to scale the Seven Summits, are on a mission to raise funds for their NungshiTashi Foundation in the UK this month.
The next mission on the twins' calendar is to climb Mount Cook in December, the highest mountain in New Zealand. If successful, this will again be a first as twins.
"The foundation is dedicated to advancing and empowering the lives of Indian girls and women through outdoors, adventure sports and mountaineering. We have stretched our family's resources as far as they can go and want to raise awareness to attract funds for this mission," said Nungshi, president of the foundation.
The 25-year-old twins set up the foundation last year after they became the first South Asians to complete the "Explorers' Grand Slam" by scaling the highest peaks in all continents and skiing to the North and South Poles. "There is an alarming 'economic migration' from the greater Himalayan regions to the plains, making girls and women especially vulnerable to exploitation and human trafficking. The aim of our foundation is two-fold ? to raise awareness around adventure sports and tourism and provide women and girls in the region the right support. This ties in with the government's 'Beti Bachao' as well as Skill India mission," Nungshi said.
Starting from Uttarakhand, the twins plan to use their Mountain Girls Outdoors Livelihoods Program (MGOLP) to span all 10 states in the Indian Himalayan Region and hill districts of two other states. UK-based charity Girl Guiding recently selected them among its top 10 most inspiring women under 25, alongside Pakistani teenage activist Malala Yousafzai. They arrived in the UK to attend the Base Camp festival in the Peak District earlier this week and hold discussions with like-minded explorers.
"They have very ambitious plans to take outdoor sports in India to a completely another level, especially for women," Indian high commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna said. He had invited the twins to his London residence earlier this week for a special reception to bid farewell to outgoing Indian deputy high commissioner to the UK Dr Virander Paul.