To educate 100 girls, Telangana duo out to conquer Ladakh’s virgin peak

Climbing mountains is a passion for these two young Telangana women. But this time they’re doing it for Project Shakthi – a mission to make a difference in the lives of 100 under-privileged girls.

Kavya Manyapu, is a President awardee and space scientist in the US. Poorna Malavath is the youngest female to climb Mt Everest and to complete the Seven Summits Challenge. Together, they aim to raise an amount of $1,00,000 for the purpose.

On Monday, the two young women set out from Hyderabad to Leh in Ladakh. Over the next 15 days, the duo will climb a yet unclimbed and unnamed mountain peak around 6,200 metres tall, in Ladakh.

This is the first of several such mountain climbs they intend to accomplish going forward, said Shekhar Babu, a veteran mountaineer who has worked out the expedition.

Both, Kavya and Poorna have their roots in Telangana’s Kamareddy district. They first met when Poorna went to the US on an exchange programme in 2019. Their shared interest in mountain climbing was the inspiration behind this mission to raise funds and awareness.

“As part of Project Shakthi, we chose mountaineering as a platform because it’s a very unconventional form of a career or pursuit for a woman. And that’s the message we want to send…that girls should dream big and aspire to do whatever they think they want to do,” Kavya told IANS.

Poorna, who is back after completing her last climbing expedition in North America in June, is looking forward to the mission in Ladakh. “I’m very excited. Till now, I have scaled mountains for my passion. This time I’m doing it for a cause,” Poorna told IANS.

Joining them on the expedition, is a team comprising Divya Thakur from Himachal Pradesh, Rency Thomas from Kerala, videographer Amita Negi and liaison officer Kimi.

The expedition, training and logistics will be supported by Transcend Adventures, an Indian company engaged in providing training and logistics for mountaineering expedition.

On completion of the expedition, the duo plans to submit the required documentation that will allow the peak to be officially named.

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