Haryana, July 10: In a state where female foeticide is commonplace, these twin sisters form a ray of hope- of a Haryana that is sympathetic and encouraging toward its women. Tashi (Tibetan for Good Fortune) and Nungshi (Manipuri for love) Malik are a case in point.
Born to a Colonel father and a housewife mother, their names are the epitome of what they represent of the society. Ace mountaineers, these women have scaled to the top of the highest mountains in all the 7 continents.
Incidentally, they are not just the only Indians to have completed the Explorer Grand Slam but are also the first South Asians to have completed it. Moreover, they are the youngest ones to have done so.
The Grand Slam is an adventurers challenge to reach the North Pole and the South Pole and scale all the 7 summits in all the 7 continents.
What started as a summer course at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi in 2009 ended up on a grand scale. The girls went back again in 2010 and climbed Mt. Rudugaira. Aimed for Mt Everest, the women had other hurdles to cross. For example, their mother who did not like their passion. She went to their coach and requested him to fail them. However, there was no stopping them and they aced as mountaineers and were officially trained.
Incidentally, their mother stood by them at the time of need when they needed sposorship. She sold some of her jewellery and their father took a loan to allow them to chase their dreams. The Malik sisters finally invaded the Everest in 2013.
Not just passion, their dreams were driven by awareness against female foeticide. They are now the ambassadors of the PM's flagship program-Beti Bachao Andolan.