Prashant Acharya, EOI, SILIGURI, 15 Jun 2016: “The inspiration from the people of Darjeeling and the entire nation motivated us to conquer the world’s highest peak,” said Suloxchana Tamang and Trishala Gurung, the two college-going girls from Darjeeling, as they disembarked at Bagdogra airport this afternoon from Delhi. Tamang and Gurung were part of a 11-member NCC all-girls team who successfully scaled Everest last month.
At Bagdogra airport, they walked into a grand reception from well-wishers, family and the media, and the welcoming continued all the way up to Darjeeling where social organisations, educational institutions and enthusiasts had gathered in several places.
Speaking to this correspondent, Trishala, a student of Southfield College, said she nearly gave up hope when the summit was barely 10 minutes ahead. But thoughts of her family and well-wishers back home prodded her forward despite severe pain in the legs, hunger and drowsiness. She said, “We were walking 7-10 hours each day without proper sleep and food and in very low oxygen supply.
I cried in pain, but our Sherpa guides encouraged us. A minute’s walk seemed like an hour’s journey for me. But I did not give up and succeeded in reaching the summit.”
Her advice to the youths, especially girls, is to always think positive and never give up one’s dreams. “Women should never underestimate themselves and never fear of dreaming positive in life.”
Trishala started from base camp on May 19 and summitted Everest on the morning of May 22, while Suloxchana started a day earlier and scaled the peak on May 21.
Suloxchana, a student of Ghoom Degree College, was excited when she arrived at Bagdogra airport. “I am proud to be a daughter of Darjeeling and India,” she said.
Suvedar Major Birender Yadav of 1st Bengal NCC, Siliguri said the two were among 11 girls to be selected from across the country to scale Everest. Initially, 100 girls were selected and 40 were shortlisted after training at the HMI, Darjeeling. Finally, 10 girls were selected to undergo training at the Siachen Army Base Camp, he said.