23-year-old twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi, from Dehradun have set out on a mission to ski to the North Pole in the middle of Arctic Ocean.
“9 km frm North Pole! skied 18 km thru poor visibility, drifting snow in air & many leads (open water) super charged,!” the sisters tweeted from their handle @NungshiTashi on Tuesday morning.
Their father Col (retd) VS Malik, meanwhile, is continuously keeping a tab on the internet and every phone call and is busy preparing a press release and a brief profile of his twin daughters in Dehradun. Col Malik plans to send an e-mail to the media as and when the ‘breaking news’ arrives.
“It is a difficult decision to push your children in a relatively difficult sport but I am happy that the girls have made us proud,” Malik said.
The twins have already scaled seven summits of the globe. They also skied to the South Pole earlier this year. They were also the first twins to scale the world’s highest peak Mount Everest.
Malik said after completing the North Pole expedition, the girls will be entitled for the title of ‘Explorer Grand Slam’ - a top recognition in the field of expedition.
“After scaling the North Pole, Tashi and Nungshi will become the first in South Asia to cover all seven summits and both the poles,” their father said. HT however could not verify the claim independently.
The sisters are presently doing post graduate diploma course in Sports and Exercise from New Zealand. The course is fully supported under New Zealand Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme.
Nonetheless, it has been a tough task for the parents to push their girls for a sport that is considered to be ‘expensive’.
Malik who hails from Harayna, said `2.5 crore has been spent so far to help the girls in their mission and it was not possible without the generous help from donors and the state government.
Uttarakhand government had given `20 lakh and the Haryana government gave `10 lakh while the governors of both the states donated `1 lakh each for the twins. Birla Trust provided `12.5 lakh and Mahindra paid the expedition fee of `48 lakh for the South Pole expedition.The Hans Foundation partially funded their North Pole expedition.
Malik informed he has taken a loan of around `20 lakh from friends and family while his wife has taken a loan of `8 lakh to help their kids complete the task.
“The twins are looking forward to a career in sports. They plan to promote mountaineering among girls,” Malik said.