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The conquering heroines of Bangladesh, Nishat (L) and Wasfia (R).
The conquering heroines of Bangladesh, Nishat (L) and Wasfia (R).

How many countries in the world can claim that two of their daughters separately conquered the Everest within a span of a single week? None. But Nishat Majumder and Wasfia Nazreen did it. The event is stupendous in every way, a defiant reminder that given a chance Bangladeshis can achieve almost anything they set their heart and mind to. This victory of Nishat Majumder who was the first Bangladeshi woman to scale the mountain followed by Wasfia Nazreen, the first Bangladeshi woman to do it on her own is the stuff of our dreams and fantasies. In a world where our victories are cut short every day, it was left to these two incredible ladies to show what can be done even by us. The heart can’t contain the pride we feel, the joy we experience as we write these words in praise of these two young women of Bangladesh.

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Nishat climbed the Everest’s 8,850-meter-high (29,035-foot-high) summit from the northern side of the mountain in Nepal. She was accompanied on her journey by M A Mohit, the second Bangladeshi to have conquered the Everest.

Nishat and Mohit are both members of the Bangla Mountaineering and Trekking Club which has been a key force in promoting mountain climbing in Bangladesh.

Majumder, the second child of her parents, was also the first Bangladeshi woman to have conquered three Himalayan peaks higher than 6,000 metres. She conquered Himalaya’s Mera Peak (6,653.78 metres) in 2007, Singchuli Peak (6,501 metres) in 2008 and Makalu Peak (8,493.3 metres) in 2009.

485765_299699763455283_918006994_nBorn in Laxmipur, Majumder finished her schooling from Bottomley Home Girls High School and college from Shahid Anwar Girls College. She did her bachelors and masters in accounting from Dhaka City College and currently works for Dhaka WASA as an accountant.

Nishat’s achievement has special significance because she was also climbing to highlight the “Because I am a Girl” campaign now being run by the NGO, Plan International which has also co-sponsored her expedition. Plan will launch its ‘Because I am a Girl’ campaign this October and they plan to urge everyone to raise their hands, ‘Hands Up!’ they call it, in support of women’s empowerment.

Nishat Majumder as their champion will have already raised her hand on top of the Everest. “Now that has got to be the highest raised hand in the world, right? You couldn’t get any higher than the Everest,” Nova Shams, of Plan has said.

Nishat has not only given a face to the cause of girls and women but to Bangladesh as well. She has shown that our women if given a chance can achieve everything.
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Wasfia Nazreen reached the Everest on May 27 as her million friends all over the world cheered. Her climb was part of the Seven Summits campaign — celebrating 40 years of independence of Bangladesh — in which she is trying to reach all the seven top mountains of the world. She has already climbed two of them and this is her third which is also the highest in the world. Her resolve has a resonance that is rare in Bangladesh where people are more known for more sedentary pursuits and safe options. In that smoky world where people mostly only dare to make journeys from one part of the city to another braving traffic jams or buy apartments at unheard of prices, Wasfia has chosen to lead an entire life that is a remarkable example of integrity and courage. To her mountain climbing is only one of the many things she does and does so extremely well. It’s not just her work life but her life that is an example for others to follow.

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Nishat-Majumder-on-top-of-everestWhile her fame rests on her climbing exploits, she is also a highly regarded human rights activist whose work for adivasi rights is well recognized. She has written several pieces with Chakma Raja Devasish Roy that have brought much needed attention to the plight of the Indigenous people.
But she has written on many other topics and as a campaigner, her causes are many. Wasfia’s piece on the situation of the sex workers drew a lot of attention and she has never flinched when pushing a cause. Perhaps few have brought her as much difficulties as has her support of the Tibetans agitating against the Chinese. Wasfia’s activism has led to a highly stressed life at times, and she is familiar with being chased by security agencies but she has not given up. In a related venture she is writing a history of the Tibetan soldiers’ contribution to the liberation of Bangladesh. In 1971, these soldiers were at the forefront of the war and were part of Dhaka’s liberation.

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She is also a media person and a reputed photographer that makes her our own. Not only is she one of bdnews24.com columnists, she is also one of the most popular names on our pages. She is a person of many gifts and she has tried to reach her goals in all of them. Of such materials are the special ones made.
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Nishat and Wasfia are two incredible individuals who would be a source of pride to any people in the world. But they belong to Bangladesh and that makes all of us proud in what they have done and shall do so in future. Our fortune is that they belong to the same land as we do. It is our responsibility to ensure that it is not only personal determination that takes them to such heights but will to help those special amongst us.

Viva Nishat, viva Wasfia!

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Afsan Chowdhury is the Executive Editor of bdnews24.com.

Afsan Chowdhuryis a bdnews24.com columnist.

26 Responses to “Viva Nishat, viva Wasfia!”

  1. Eartha Islam

    Congratulations Nishat and Wasfia apu!
    You have done a fantastic job and we are so proud of you! 🙂

  2. MasudH

    Thank you for covering this article. This is really a great achievement for the climbers.
    I sincerely hope that some documentary would be made based on the mountain scaling of these climbers and average people from Bangladesh will have a chance to have some appreciation of such tremendous achievement.

    Sincerely,

    MasudH

    • A H Hitu

      ‘Congratulations’ to Nishat and Wasfia.

      I Also congratulations to Muhit for being the only Bangladeshi to have climbed the Everest peak from both north and south side. I have been following the news from the 19th of May. Muhit conquered the Everest from the northern side in 2011. This year he has conquered the highest peak from the southern side. Please make corrections if there are any informative mistakes.

      So, finally wake up Bangladesh! Climbing Mt Everest is more important than doing so many insignificant things, which are being overblown as great achievements. Congratulations Nishat! Congratulations Wasfia!

      However, climbing Everest is extremely difficult a feat to achieve. There are few athletic / sporting events more difficult to achieve. Congrats to Nishat, Wasfia and Muhit. Once again.

      With Regards
      Amir Hossain Hitu
      Noringpur, Shahrasti, Chandpur

  3. Muhit Rahman

    Congratulations to the two women (and the men before them) for their achievement. My only regret is that when I eventually scale Everest, not only will I not be the first Bangladeshi [origin] individual to climb it, I won’t even be the first Muhit to do so! But nonetheless, I will take this as a reminder of things I still have left to do …!

    Muhit Rahman
    Santa Monica, Ca

    • Md. Khalequzzaman

      Congrats to our two ladies and men before them on this occasion. Yes we can!
      Muhit, there is always a first for everything. You can be the “youngest” Bangladeshi to climb the Everest! Go for it.

  4. Ezajur Rahman

    I wish they woudl start their own political party!

    I would vote for them!

    • Mohammad Zaman

      … oops… not the SEA nor the land…

      But they really conquered the highest peak… higher than the Holy Kailas…

      Yes, I shall vote for them too!

  5. Anonymous Patriot

    How many countries in the world can claim that two of their daughters are separately destroying their country?

    • Optimist

      Rather than going further to the ‘depths’, these two daughters of the nation thought of taking us to the ‘heights’………for a change.
      Congratulations; may be we all can learn a LESSON or two.

  6. Golam Arshad

    Afsan: Heartiest! Heartiest Congratulations to Nishat and Wasfia. Proud of you!

  7. Nabil

    Congratulations to Nishat and Wasfia. Also congratulations to Muhit for being the only Bangladeshi to have climbed the Everest peak from both north and south side. Some minor corrections.

    Nishat, like Wasfia, summted from south side, not north side. North side ascent starts from Tibet. Last year Muhit and the year before, Musa Ibrahim summited from north side.

    Another correction, Wasfia’s ascent was by no means a solo ascent. May be she was not part of a group. But she was constantly guided by three Sherpas up to the summit. Ropes and ladders were setup by the Sherpas.

    Solo ascent is a different league thing. Mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner first did this alpine style solo ascent. This means climbing alone all the way from base camp without any porter or Sherpa help.

    However, climbing Everest is extremely difficult a feat to achieve. There are few athletic / sporting events more difficult to achieve. Congrats to Nishat, Wasfia and Muhit. Once again.

  8. Sayed Golam Ahammad FCMA

    Many thanks for writing such a nice article on such a victory attained our two national pride.

  9. Taj Hashmi

    Had the average Bangladeshi been aware what summiting Mount Everest is all about, there would have been wild celebrations from “Teknaf to Tetulia” and beyond, wherever there are Bangladeshis. Four successive victories by four Bangladeshi men and women have almost gone uncelebrated. These feats are definitely many, many, many times more important than winning a cricket match by Bangladeshi players, who have been playing the game since the dawn of the 20th century.

    These successive mega achievements by the two women also signify one thing — unlike the so-called “gifted” female politicians of the country – these women have achieved this glory by dint of their merit, tons and tons of courage, skill and dedications. I am so happy for them and sad for the indifference of the youth and educated Bangladeshis in general. Wake up Bangladesh! Climbing Mt Everest is more important than doing so many insignificant things, which are being overblown as great achievements. Congratulations Nishat! Congratulations Wasfia!

    • Mohammad Zaman

      Well, the people of Bangladesh are tired of celebrating “Somudra Bijoy”.

      Ha..ha..ha..ha..

  10. Mohammad Zaman

    The same week when Elon Musk’s dragon capsule made the most notable leap forward in space exploration (after Neil Armstrong), Nishat-Wasifa, two indomitable women of Bangladesh stood high on the highest of high peaks of our dear planet – Earth.

    These are few good days for my God forsaken Desh, when, even the childlike utterances of the “OTHER TWO WOMEN” or their churlish demeanors shall not distract us from joyous celebration.

  11. Syed Imtiaz Alli

    Thank you Afsan Chowdhury for the beautiful and inspiring account and profile of these two ladies of courage who have just performed an unheard of feat!

    Yes, Viva to Nishat and Wasfia — the nation is proud of you. May you two inspire many younger ones (boys and girls) to so many of today’s challenges. You have proved that with unflinching resolve every obstacle is surmountable! May we take this lesson and continue our journey to national salvation.

    • Amjad Hossain

      Dear Afsan Chowdhury,
      Please do check whether Muhit and Nishat had climbed the Everest summit from the Northern side or or from the southern side. I have been following the news from the 19th of May. Muhit conquered the Everest from the northern side in 2011. This year he has conquered the highest peak from the southern side. Please make corrections if there are any informative mistakes.

      regards
      Amjad Hossain
      Uttara, Dhaka

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