Sudarshan Gautam to conquer Langtang By Karuna Giri He became famous when he held a driving demonstration at the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) of Kathmandu in 2004. Similar displays followed in Butwal and Pokhara.

One may ask: what is so special about a driving demo? Well, this one was pretty unusual because the driver was not steering the car with his hands. On the contrary, he used his feet! This then is the story of Sudarshan Gautam. Gautam got a severe electrical shock when he was 14 years of age and both his arms had to be amputated. He has been using his legs ever since. Learning to write and doing other things all over again, and differently, he put the accident behind him and went on with his life.

And now, at the age of 24, he is set out to do something extraordinary - scale Mt. Langtang. If the 5,732m mountain climb is successful, he will be cited in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Langtang is just one of many challenges in his list. After this expedition, it will be Mount Everest, the tallest snow peak in the world. And then the highest summits of all the other continents will follow.

"People look at disability in a rather pitiful way," says Gautam. "I want to prove that disability doesn't necessarily limit a person. I also want to encourage others like me and motivate them." Gautam has been undergoing training from Pemba Dorje Sherpa, the world record holder for the fastest time to scale Everest. Pemba will also be heading all of his expeditions. While a normal climber takes along a crew of 12 people, Gautam will require about 22 in his support team. He will be heading for Langtang on August 13.

Sunil Timilsina, the coordinator for the expeditions, says, "The budget is about Rs 700,000. The government has given us Rs 200,000 while we're managing the rest of the money ourselves." He adds, "We're hoping to get more support from the government and financial companies in the future because Gautam's feats are something the nation should be proud of." And mountain climbing is not all. Sudarshan is also a singer and his Dohori album is set to hit the stands in a month. So 2005 is going to be a busy year for the enthusiastic Sudarshan Gautam. And we wish him all the luck as he sets out to give disability a whole new meaning.





KATHMANDU, Sept 8 - Sudarshan Gautam enkindles hope in thousands of disabled youths who look upon their disability sometimes as a gift when he will take Nepal to the Guinness Book of World Records for his ground-breaking mastery over driving without hands.
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He became famous when he held a driving demonstration at the Birendra International Convention Centre (BICC) of Kathmandu in 2004. Similar displays followed in Butwal and Pokhara. One may ask: what is so special about a driving demo?
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Sudarshan Gautam has a message for those who have limbs intact: “It doesn’t make a difference what you have and what you don’t. If there is a will there is a way.”Sudarshan came to Kathmandu as a lad of 16 from his village in Ramechhap.
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Sudarshan Gautam became the first disabled person to conquer Yala peak thereby recreating history for the disabled individuals the world over. If all goes well, his achievement will more than likely, be recorded in the Guinness book.
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