Lucky, Dikki and Nikki are an inspiration to many Nepali women whose vision of the world these three sisters have helped nurture among the mountains.
The bright, witty sisters have one mission in life-to empower women and help them cope with modernity, while at the same time preserving their culture and heritage. How do they do this? They make them walk the Himalaya. At their small trekking agency-Three Sisters' Adventure Trekking in Baidam, Pokhara-they not only assist women trekkers and employ Nepali women guides, but also conduct free trekking and guiding training for their Nepali didi baini. "We used to do it at our own cost. But since last year, we have been receiving some assistance from the Nepal Tourism Board," says Nikki. Already they have trained 56 women, 15 of whom have joined their crew. At present, another training programme is going on in Pokhara.
Though it was only two years ago that they were formally registered as an agency, it is more than six years since the trio started working the mountains. Lucky started first, and Dikki and Nikki followed suit after being instructed in trekking and climbing at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. The sisters want to bring Nepali women into the trekking community. "Our main objective is to employ women and provide women trekkers with quality, genuine trekking. We want to share with them our adventurous spirit," says Dikki.
The young women say they haven't had the time to think about getting married, as the work they do is more enthralling than any social obligation. To remain outdoors, to be one with nature and absorb the energy of the mountains is their life. "Everyone should trek. It has to be taken as a part of life, like the way we have done," they say. Lucky says her happiest moments are when she has a 360 degree view of the Annapurna panorama from Annapurna Base Camp. "It's always enlivening to see that," she says.
"A guide is an ambassador of the country. Any foreign trekker coming here expects the guides to know about almost everything related to nature, the environment, flora and fauna, culture and the mountains. We train and educate Nepalis and our foreign guests the same way-we tell them everything we know that they're interested in, anything that will enrich their stay in Nepal," they say.
Lila Karki, their mother, is one happy and proud person. "It's good to see their work ethic and hearty spirit. It makes me feel very happy," she says.
Phone in Pokhara: 061- 24066