KATHMANDU: Fate was not so kind to Nima Doma in the year 2014. Her husband Tshering Wanchu Sherpa, a sole breadwinner in the family, died in an avalanche that occurred just above the popcorn region of Mt Everest.
The incident left her devastated without a ray of hope. She spent her gloomy days with her eyes always full of tears, remembering her husband.
Her family members blamed her for the passing of her husband and turned their back on her. She received support from nobody at this time of emotional distress. Nima felt so miserable as if the whole sky was falling over her.
One day she decided to leave the house in hopes of earning her livelihood and supporting her two children.
She then joined other women who had been working as porters carrying supplies to the Everest Base Camp situated at an altitude of 5, 300 meters. At the base camp, climbers do stay for around six weeks to get acclimatized to the altitude before attempting the summit. She worked hard for about two months leaving her children behind.
Meanwhile, she came into contact with Ang Tshering Lama, who advised her to receive training from the Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA).
Furdiki Sherpa was another woman who had lost her husband while scaling Mt Everest in 2013. Nima and Furdiki, then, made up their mind to climb Mt Everest with the slogan “WE CAN DO”.
Furdiki Sherpa was somewhat better in terms of her family’s financial condition as her three daughters had been already adopted by American nationals and they could support her to some extent in logistic matters.
One day Nima decided to do something unique for herself. She mustered up her guts and consulted with her friend Furdiki Sherpa to do something in life by following the foot trails of their husbands.
“I would have been doing fieldwork or domestic chores in my family, had I not been mistreated by my family and given this inspiration to do something unique to stand on my own feet in this world,” said Nima while talking to Khabarhub.
However, working more than a decade in the mountaineering field especially on Mt Everest, their husband never got a chance to conquer it. So, we wanted to fulfill the dream of our husbands by scaling the world’s highest peak.”
Recalling her past, Nima shared that she missed her two children badly and suffered from homesick when she reached the Base Camp. Her son Pemba Chetten Sherpa, 12, was studying in Class 5 while her daughter Nima Yangjee in 3.
Earlier, after the death of her husband, she used to say “I will die of hunger but never go to the mountain”. But after the NMA training, she learned that if you are equipped with the technical knowledge you can be safe in the mountain unless the weather is favorable.
Respect for her husband grew within her further after she witnessed the hard work of a high altitude porter in the mountains.
She added, “Everybody can climb Mt Everest but climbing is impossible without ‘Sherpa’. During the expedition above Camp III, she saw human fossils, bloodshed, and a pile of garbage spoiling the beauty of the Himalayas.
It was May 23, 2019. The clock was striking 5:25 am. Nima reached atop Mt Everest. She was extremely happy to conquer the highest peak. She felt her husband’s dream was fulfilled. The other cause of being happy was that it would further motivate all widows like her.
Nima said, “You will be successful only when you are able to come back to the Everest Base Camp safely”. She only realized that she achieved success only when she came back to Everest Base Camp.”
“When he was alive, all I had to do was look after the household chores, but after his death, I was suddenly hit with all the responsibilities,” Nima said.
If Sherpa died in the Everest, the family would suffer from the economic crisis of rearing and educating children. The government should help the Sherpa’s family and its children with their study in case their father loses his life during mountaineering expeditions, Nima urges.
She was happy when she received the best compliments from the other widow, whose husband died recently, saying, “After you climb the Everest, it motivates us to do something rather than being caged inside the four walls”.
After climbing Mt Everest, Nima and Furdiki are planning to climb Mt Ama Dablam and to scale seven summits with the aim of encouraging widow and helping them with income-generating skills, education and livelihood.