SOLUKHUMBU, Dec 19: The cost of a kilo of iodized salt at Rs 180 is a compulsion for the locals of the remote Forche village at Khumjung – 9 in Solukhumbu.
They use normal breed of Masuri rice – the cost of which hovers around Rs 240 to Rs 250. It is our compulsion that we have to pay ten times more than Kathmandu, said Forche's local, Ang Chiring Sherpa.
The essential commodities are brought to Saleri, the district headquarters, in trucks and then transported to Syanboche on a helicopter and only then carried to Forche by porters. The choppers are not the only means, the commodities are brought to Syanboche also on mules.
Most of the families in Forche live on earnings from mountain expeditions. The village only produces potatoes and buckwheat, and the male members head to climb mountains or work as porters for foreign climbers to the base camps.
Pasang Nuru Sherpa, who has successfully climbed Mt Everest five times, shared that almost all the families have porters who head to the mountains. The Forche village – with 85 families – itself is known as the lap of the Himalaya.
The village with its pristine beauty has unforgiving drawbacks and hardships. Many men are forced to run their families for a year reliant on Rs 300,000 that they earn by climbing mountains once a year. This is the earning of those who reach the peak of the summits, but for those returning from the base camps, it is even much less. RSS