Sangeeta Bahl is a 53-year-old entrepreneur from Jammu & Kashmir who is on a summit to climb world’s highest peak, Mt. Everest. And she is doing it to create awareness for the cause of gender equality and promotion of women’s rights.
Bahl is a former model and Miss India 1985 pageant finalist, who loves mountaineering. She has scaled 5 of 7 World Summits. Speaking to InUth from the Everest base camp, she expressed, “Safety for women seems like a utopian concept these days, with Nirbhaya-like incidents or worse happening almost every single day in India. Gone are the days of candle light vigils, now’s the time for action, and climbing Mount Everest seems to be a viable option to promote this much-needed awareness to improve the plight of women in India.”
A highly successful businesswoman, she started working at the age of 16 and is India’s first image consultant to receive certification from the Association of Image Consultants International, Minnesota in the United States. She is a personality mentor and trains at aviation and hospitality institutes. She is also a co-author of a self-help book, Executive Etiquette Power for corporates and entrepreneurs.
Though mainly settled in Gurgaon, she is well-connected to her roots in Jammu through voluntary efforts like her NGO, Impact Women Power Association, which hosts various skill development programs for women in Jammu and Kashmir.
While the atmosphere in Kashmir is restive after the re-polls, extreme sports lovers are happy with Sangeeta’s efforts. “It is a proud moment for Jammu and Kashmir, that a woman from our state is climbing the Everest and that too for a very special cause,” said Rauf Tramboo, an adventure tour operator from the Valley.
Meanwhile getting acclimatized with the cold rocky terrains at the base camp, where even breathing is a challenge, Bahl is enjoying challenge Everest has to offer, “I am the Everest base camp and this is my home for next few weeks,” she concluded.