After jubilation, reality comes calling for Reena’s family | other | Hindustan Times
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After jubilation, reality comes calling for Reena’s family

For Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu’s family the year 2009 ended on a high note as she became the first Indian woman to ski to the South Pole. However, as the family earnestly awaits her return, their first priority is to repay the loan taken to fund the venture, and not the celebrations.

other Updated: Jan 02, 2010 01:12 IST

For Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu’s family the year 2009 ended on a high note as she became the first Indian woman to ski to the South Pole. However, as the family earnestly awaits her return, their first priority is to repay the loan taken to fund the venture, and not the celebrations.

“We came to know about the news yesterday (Thursday). I have not been able to talk to her. But the Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition authorities told us that she was likely to return Jan 15,” Love Raj Singh, her husband and a mountaineer himself, said.

Dharmshaktu, a 38-year-old mountaineer and outdoor instructor based in Delhi, was part of an all-women expedition that skied for nearly eight-nine hours daily for 40 days, braving chilly winds, sub-zero temperatures, the vast emptiness of Antarctica and carried 80 kg of load on their backs to reach the South Pole on Thursday.

For her family the journey to the South Pole was taken against formidable odds like lack of finance.

“It is a big achievement for us and a tremendous example of her will power. All sponsors had said no to us and we took a loan to fund the venture. The first priority is to repay that loan,” Singh said.

The cost of the venture has been Rs 10-11 lakh. Unable to raise sufficient funds and shown the doors by the government and corporate houses, Dharmshaktu had to take a loan of Rs 5.75 lakh from a bank and borrow the rest from friends.

Dharmshaktu and her husband’s dream of becoming the first Indian couple to together scale Mt Everest, the highest peak, has taken a back seat.

“We will think about other expeditions only when we have repaid this loan,” Singh added.