A shining example of an athlete aspiring to work towards a better future for women and children is International Mountaineer Nandita Nagangoudar, who was honoured at KWAA 2019 as the Brand Ambassador. She shares her journey of climbing mountains and emerging strong.
BY NAMITA GUPTA
How did the idea of Mountaineering come about? Did you complete your studies before you started this passion?
The idea of mountaineering came to me when I had been to Alps while pursuing my MBA in England, to reach new heights. Seeing the world from the top was a thrilling experience. It all started with the beauty of the Alps and there was no stopping after that.
What drew you to it and how exciting was it?
Climbing Alps was just the beginning what drew me closer to the mountains was the sheer beauty, tranquility and serenity. After climbing the Alps, there was no looking back. I decided to dedicate my career to climbing the highest peaks of the world and that’s exactly what I’m doing now.
What were the challenges and how did you overcome them?
It’s extremely challenging and tedious; a constant battle to survive and reach beyond at -50 temperature is no child’s play. What keeps us going is sheer passion! I hail from Hubli in Karnataka. To unfurl India’s National flag to see the tricolour flying gives you a great sense of achievement and accomplishment. I have survived many times and emerged successful. God has been kind. Crossing cravas, the threat of Avalanche freezing temperature, altitude sickness are just few of the challenges. You got to be mentally strong to do it. Mountaineering teaches you the true meaning of survival and I have learnt great lessons and am endorsing them too.
What have been some of the highlights of your journey so far?
Sports can be greater than oneself, and used as a platform for social change.
Tell us something interesting about your field in brief?
Advocating social empowerment is not new. I believe my dreams “are as big as Everest.” Alongside empowering women and speaking for strengthening of India’s ties with the world, I also advocate awareness towards climate change, education and fitness through all my adventures completing the seven summits.
Tell us more about your association with KWAA?
The Association with KWAA has been great and very exciting. I’m proud of the team as they showcase and give a great platform to all the women achievers. It’s been a great journey and I truly wish KWAA the great success for their incredible job in tapping untapped talent and creating a forum for empowering women.
What are your future plans?
My next expedition awaits me in South America, where I will aspire to scale the Continent’s largest peak, Mount Aconcagua of Argentina, which lies in the Andes mountain range. Carrying both the flags of India and Karnataka, I hope to create awareness on education and uplifting underprivileged children.