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Almost a hundred years late but Pakistan finally made it to the North Pole in April 2004.
The surprise conquering hero was 24-year-old London based lawyer Anoushka Kachelo who hauled her sledge across 50 miles of grueling frozen territory to get the top of the world – 95 years after the first man there, American explorer Robert Peary. Karachi-born Anoushka also has the distinction of being the youngest woman in the world as well as the first Pakistani to walk the last degree to the North Pole. It took eight exhausting days for the young adventurer to plant the Pakistani flag at the famous spot and mark the end of her journey. The North Pole is just an ice cap unlike its southern cousin and Anoushka faced falling through the ice and possible frostbite as she travelled 12 hours every day in temperatures that plunged to minus 22 degrees. Travelling to the North Pole was Anoushka’s lifetime dream but she also used it to raise £19,000 for three charities; The Children’s Art Foundation, The Pakistani Special Olympics and the La Strada. In November 2004, Anoushka set off on a 730 mile journey across the Antarctica in an attempt to complete her bid to become the youngest woman to trek both the North and South Poles in the same year, and the first Pakistani to reach either.
This certainly is a credit for Anoushka, since she hails from a country where women have only recently started to think of joining professions once considered only domain of men. The brave young adventurer has done all this not only to satisfy her adventurous nature, but also to raise funds for the Children’s Art Foundation (CHART), a nonprofit organization, that aims at providing education of art to the children of under-privileged background. The sensation and the hair raising adventure has further heightened Anoushka’s quest to attempt another such venture across Antarctica. Anoushka feels proud of her adventure and believes that this would serve as a cue for Pakistani women to embark upon challenging ventures not only to come forth to feel strong but also participate in raising awareness of of misgivings prevailing in the children of third world countries.