Everyone has their own Everest to climb! by Jashvi Savla
Children are very perceptive in nature, they imbibe the values they see around them. When 11 year old Krisha Savla, saw someone from her family suffer from cancer and the expensive treatment that it entailed, she wondered how those with low income could manage the cost. She, along with her little friends, decided to do something about it. Her friends Ahan Goradia and Jea Mehta (both aged 11) had cancer survivors in the family, they had seen this struggle from close quarters. Neev Shah (also 11) had lost a close member of the family to the dreaded disease. Their 12 year old friend Tia Vasa, was aware that this disease is physically, mentally and financially exhausting.
They brain stormed on how could they make a difference and help raise funds for the underprivileged and those from the lower income group. They found a guide in the form of Jashvi Savla, mother of Krisha, who is the founder of Curious feet, that organizes treks and other outdoor activities. Jashvi suggested that the children organize a fundraiser by way of trekking to the Everest Base Camp (EBC). This would help raise funds for the underprivileged while also creating an awareness.
On the 26th of October 2022, the five kids,each accompanied by a parent, flew to Lukla. Lukla, is the world’s highest and most dangerous airport. From there they began their Nine day trek to the EBC, which is at a height of 5364 mtrs/ 17,600 feet above sea level. They trekked daily for 6 hours in grueling and exhausting conditions. They walked covering Namche Bazaar, Kyangjungma, Tengbuche, Dingbuche, Lobuche finally reaching Gorakshep and EBC. The air began to get thinner and Oxygen supply to the body became less, as they ascended from 2400 mtrs to 5300 mtrs. Taking every step was becoming difficult, but the children persisted in this journey due to their strong mental state.
The bone chilling, gushing cold winds, the local food and unhospitable lodging conditions would have made many give up on the quest. But, these kids did not bow down to such circumstances. Even when Neev was struck by the stomach bug, Krisha suffered from mild altitude sickness, they continued while chanting “One step at a time” “Live in the moment” “I will rest, if I get tired but I will not quit”. They also made sure to hydrate themselves, follow the rules of the mountains, acclimatization, adhering to the advice from the locals while not leaving carbon footprints. Their mission for the patients in need pushed them to continue the trek.
The elders accompanying them also faced health challenges by way of Acute Mountain Sickness. They also made sure that the children were entertained by playing cards and narrating stories, when relaxing.
Finally, on the 2nd of November 2022, they reached EBC, accomplishing their mission. After their return, they have emerged stronger and have inspired many to put their best foot forward. The team has tied up with Milaap.org and targets to raise and donate over 20 lakhs to a Mumbai based NGO. This NGO works for affordable as well as free treatment of children and adults suffering from cancer.
Kudos to the children as well as the parents, who supported them in this challenging endeavor. It is truly said No step is too small, no effort too little. These children have proved this. We doff our hats to such children.
Jashvi Savla’s a mother of two who helped 4 kids reach Everest Base camp to raise funds for cancer patients.