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Mumbai: BMC employee Seema Mane summits Africa’s highest peak Mt Kilimanjaro

Updated on: 01 February,2024 01:57 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Hemal Ashar |

A BMC employee summits Africa’s highest peak; makes mountain her platform for triumphant Re-public Day message

Mumbai: BMC employee Seema Mane summits Africa’s highest peak Mt Kilimanjaro

Top of the world... or Kilimanjaro for Seema Mane

When mountaineer Seema Mane decided to do her first international climb, she zeroed in on January 26 as a date on which she wanted to stand on the peak of a mountain. “Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa was an apt choice for the climb because the season at this time is suitable for climbing,” said Mane. Mt Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa.

The ascent

Said Mane, “With several peaks conquered in India, the overseas beckoned and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (Africa) was calling out to me. I started my journey to get to the top of the mountain on January 22. I reached base camp on January 25. Then, on January 26, I started my ascent to the summit at 12.20 am. It was a challenging climb. The weather was minus and there were very strong winds. I experienced a bout of vomiting because of altitude sickness. I had a support team, and with it my strongest ally was my mind which kept saying: do not give up. I reached the peak by 7.10 am, I could have summited an hour earlier, but the sickness slowed me down.” At the peak, she flew the tricolour, read from the preamble of the Indian Constitution and also flew a banner with her employer, the BMC’s logo on it. Kilimanjaro had been conquered by a doughty 38-year-old climber, a horticulture assistant working in the garden department of the BMC.

Said J Pardesi, Superintendent of Gardens, BMC, “It’s a proud moment for our department that a young lady officer has achieved this milestone. The BMC is always promoting women’s empowerment and fostering an inclusive working atmosphere. We are so happy that Seema Mane has set an inspiring example.”

Soul, summit

An emotional Mane explained, “It was summiting on India’s Republic Day that inspired me. It was a goosebumps moment as I stood on the Kilimanjaro, reading from the Indian Constitution. The wind scythed through but I hardly felt it. Buoyed by pride, adrenalin and gratitude for the blessings of my seniors, the highest mountain in Africa became a platform for the song of my soul.” 

The Ghatkopar resident, now back in Mumbai post-mission, said while mind and motivation are huge factors, consistent training, and physical fitness were key in an expedition of this magnitude. “I do running, yoga and strength training, the last comprises body weight training essentially callisthenics,” she explained. Just before Kilimanjaro, Mane also did a solo expedition to Kalsubai Peak in the Sahyadris in Maharashtra.

Hubby hurrah

Mane has rock-solid support from her husband Mithun P Sarvagod. Sarvagod said, “I help my wife achieve her goals.  I cooked food through her training to see that she had access to healthy nutrition. I help in motivation, keeping that mental strength and practicalities too, like passport and papers for climbs.” 

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