Trekkers complain of discriminatory treatment at Makalu Base Camp

KATHMANDU: Ujjwal Basnet from Dharmadevi Municipality of Sankhuwasabha was in Yangle Kharka on October 17. He was there after making a trip to Makalu Base Camp, the base camp of fifth tallest mountain on earth.

A day before on October 16, he spent his night in a local teahouse. In Yangle Kharka, no teahouses are named. He woke up at 6 am in the morning and headed out for Shiva Dhara shrine. Shiva Dhara is a very famous religious destination nearby, which takes around 5 to 6 hours to make a complete trip.

Basnet came back to Yangle Kharka after making his 6 hour long pilgrimage to the famed shrine of Sankhuwasabha. ”I had ordered meal in the morning as we visit religious shrine with fasting,” Basnet said, ”But, when I came back after 6 hours of extremely stressing journey, the teahouse operator said there is no meal for me.”

The repeated request by Basnet fell into deaf ears of the teahouse operators, who simply said he was ‘busy’. Basnet said the same teahouse operator had cooked meal just a couple of days ago while he was coming from Fematang, a nearby camp. But that day, the same service was not offered.

”Previously, there were no foreigners and he cooked meal for me and I paid Rs 400 for a vegetarian meal,” said Basnet, ”But, on October 17, there were some foreigners and he did not give attention to my request.”

Ujjwal basnet is not only one to complain about discriminatory treatment by operators of teahouses along the route of Makalu Base Camp compared to their foreign counterparts.

”The price is not that much different for Nepali and foreign trekkers,” said Kamal Magar, a trekker from Chitwan. ”They give utmost priority to foreigners and give least, if not no priority at all, to Nepali trekkers.”

Meanwhile, Dawa Chhiring Sherpa, a local teahouse operator at Dobato of Makalu Base Camp trail, said there are some complaints from Nepali trekkers in other teahouses. ”I have heard some complaints. This is due to unprofessional practices by some teahouse operators but you cannot blame all of us,” said Sherpa

Fiscal Nepal |
Sunday October 30, 2022, 12:33:09 PM |

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