When it comes to mountainous terrain, one cannot leave anything to chance. At 14,500 feet, the need to be alert and well-equipped to handle any situation is far greater. And for this very reason, three women, Durga Sati (32), Roshni Negi (25), and Mamta Kanwasi (33), trained for months to embark on that arduous trek. And in a moment of triumph, last week they became the first women forest rangers to be deployed in the treacherous terrain of Nanda Devi.
In a statement to the Times of India, Kanwasi said, “We patrol the mountains to protect rare animals and plants. There is always the threat of poachers, even at these altitudes. We also check water sources to see if anything appears amiss from a security point of view. We have to ensure our territory is safe.”
However, this is a rare occurrence as most women deployed don’t patrol higher than 11,150 feet, at Laata. However, on the request of the three women, they were deployed at a higher altitude, in a first of its kind patrol team. “We thought, if not now, then when? We joined this service to serve our country and nature,” Negi told the paper.
Their expedition commenced on June first, when the team trekked to Bhelta at 11,800 feet. From there, they went to Lata Khark (12,800 feet), and made their way up to Jhandidhara at 13,800 feet. After returning from Lata Khara, the team made their way to their final destination, Dharasi, at 14,500 feet.