Meet Nitish Singh, a young mountaineer who's hoisting the tricolour on the world's highest peaks
With the sole purpose of serving his country, Nitish Kumar Singh from Gorakhpur had dreams that aimed high and nobody knew this 'high' would just be a construct that he would keep breaking and resetting as the years went on.
"I am an international mountaineer that climbs mountains for causes," he describes himself. A number of words spoken by him seem intriguing so let's talk about some of these words of wisdom.
Inspiration behind the mountaineering life
After his father, Lance Naik in the Indian Army, was martyred while on duty in 1999 in Assam, the family fell on grave misfortune. With the consequent financial troubles, Nitish left Roorkee Army school, returned to his home and joined a government school in Gorakhpur. Here, he fared well in UP Boards and got through Kirori Mal College, Delhi University.
However while he was in Roorkee, he would often travel to and fro from home to the boarding school and would spot mountains on the way. During the journey, he would always suspected a calling from the high hills. It was in Solan, where he went to take Sainik School's exam, that he first had an epiphany.
"The view was breathtaking. It was so very peaceful. This is where I developed a strong affiliation for travelling. I started travelling during the holidays and covered numerous places in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh," he expressed.
During his time in college, Nitish would pull through the economic conundrum by selling clothes on the road, collect a bit of money and travel, ascend mountains. He had stumbled upon his moment of transcendence, it lied in the mighty mountains and he knew it then and there.
Climbing for a cause
In 2018, he went to Everest base camp for 45 days. After this, Nitish did not stop. From scaling the heights of Mt Stok Kangri (6134 m) in Ladakh to Mt Meru (4566 m) in Tanzania, he had his vision clear. "I figured that people would hear me when I'd talk to them from such a height," says Nitish, which is exactly why he started hiking for social causes.
"Since I garnered a lot of attention of media, I figured why not spread awareness about things that would help the society," he explains. "My father would always say 'aap apne liye toh hamesha karoge, par dusro ke liye karoge toh kuch haasil karoge'."
Through social media, newspapers, campaigning, sessions, personal gatherings, he spread awareness and embarked on a unique journey of 'climbing for a cause'. "If I could change even one life around me, I would find my life's purpose fulfilled."
Nitish hoisted the Indian Tricolour on the highest peak of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) in Tanzania. He championed the cause of child sexual abuse and dedicated his win to the transgender community, "I climbed for trans leader Kiran Nand Giri," he states.
In another instance, Nitish mounted Europe's highest peak, Mt Elbrus (5642 m). For the same, he had a tie up with an NGO that would donate as many number of sanitary pads to children in Gorakhpur as many metres he would climb. Thus, under Project Bala, the NGO was able to distribute 5,642 pads, benefitting countless lives. "I was inspired by IRS Aman Preet ma'am, the Pad Woman of India," he shares.
Eyes on Mount Everest
A freelance digital marketer on the side, Nitish has also recently a opened cafe in Gorakhpur with his friend Shubham Shukla, by the name 'Pahadi Cafe'.
"Kamaana tha because zindagi ka pahaad chadhna aur mushkil hai," he chortles. (I needed another means of self-sustainance because surviving life is harder than climbing mountains). With eyes on world's highest peak, Mount Everest, now more than ever, Nitish Kumar Singh wants to continue doing good for people around him and scale world's seven highest peaks.