Taking on the challenge of mountaineering, team of 25 transgender led by mountaineer Ratnesh Pandey
Taking on the challenge of mountaineering, team of 25 transgender led by mountaineer Ratnesh Pandey
The expedition to ensure equal opportunities for transgender community began on October 2 when the group travelled to HP from their respective states. The team has members from all over India including Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, HP and Madhya Pradesh.

Led by an Indori, world’s first transgender team of 25 individuals are on their way to create history in mountaineering by climbing Mount Friendship together in Himachal Pradesh (HP). This expedition is processed for world records in Guinness Book and Limca Book, which will be confirmed after the summit is attained.

Mount Friendship also popularly known as Friendship Peak is a mountain summit in Himachal Pradesh, India on an altitude of 5,287 metres (17,346 feet) above sea level.

The expedition to ensure equal opportunities for transgender community began on October 2 when the group travelled to HP from their respective states. The team has members from all over India including Delhi, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, HP and Madhya Pradesh.

Leader of the concept, mountaineer Ratnesh Pandey came up with the idea just as lockdown was enforced in the country. “When we are peaceful and at home, we are able to contemplate on many things and I understood the issues faced by transgender communities,” he said.

Taking an initiative to lead them to another world of non-judgement and opportunities, he connected with Laxhmi Narayan Tripathi. Tripathi is a transgender rights activist and Bharatanatyam dancer in Mumbai, India. She is the first transgender person to represent Asia Pacific in the UN in 2008.

“With collaboration, we could reach out to the community members all over the country and motivate them to explore the world beyond limitations and social norms,” Pandey said.

Interacting with transgender community all over the country, Pandey and Tripathi shared their ideas and project. Out of all, 25 were convinced and willing to train for the expedition.

“Throughout last 6 months, we trained them via online counselling and exercises to build their stamina and endurance for the expedition,” Anjali Pandey, wife of Pandey who leads the projects alongside, said.

From everyday routine to diet and exercise, the couple ensured covering all the pre-requisites of training for the expedition.

Along with Tripathi and Pandey, Aryan Pasha of National Transgender Commission is also heading this expedition and process.

“The campaign shows that rivers, mountains and nature does not differentiate between people based on their sexual orientation and any other differences, and with the message of humanity and equality, we are leading the expedition,” Tripathi said.

Further, Tripathi added that despite community members contribution in education, medicine and many fields, there is a negative view of transgender community in the society.

“Such attempts can help us in becoming a part of society just like anyone else and make our own place over the negativity,” Tripathi said.

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