For Poorna Malavath and Kavya Manyapu, discovering the mysteries of the darkest mountains on earth has practically become the easiest thing.
Manyapu is from NASA, where her research has involved creating space suits, and Malavath went to the peak of Mount Everest in 2014, where she became the youngest woman to do so at the age of just 13.
These two women have now used their spirit of exploration to climb some of the world’s most challenging mountains as part of their Project Shakthi fundraising initiative, which helps to pay for girls’ education.
At the end of August, they attempted to exploit a 6,012-meter virgin peak in Ladakh, India, which had never been explored by humans.
Even an accomplished mountaineer like Malavath found the mountain’s first ascent to be difficult because there were no established trails to follow or guidance from past climbers to rely on.
In the group’s darkest moments on the trek, they found motivation in Project Shakthi’s purpose and its tagline: ‘We climb so that girls can read,’ a deeply personal cause for both Malavath and Manyapu.
The project’s goals include raising money for education, changing people’s perceptions of what women are capable of, and elevating stories that can serve as role models.
As part of this, Project Shakthi will collaborate with the AVS Academy, based in the US, to match student volunteers with the organization’s sponsored girls so they can receive one-on-one mentoring.