Guwahati: Master Aaron Akivito Sema, a proud 12 years old student of Livingstone Foundation International, Nagaland became the youngest person to reach one of the highest altitudes of the world during the Mt. Everest Fashion Runway which was held at Kala Patthar, Mt. Everest, Nepal on 26th January 2020 coinciding with the 71st Indian Republic Day. Aaron Akivito Sema was the show-stopper at the event where he displayed his placard which read “I, Aaron Akivito Sema, 12 years from Nagaland LFI can stand humbly tall at this highest altitude for the cause of Climate Change, why can’t you?! Let’s be the change!” which was a global message from the world’s highest-altitude fashion event for sustainability and climate change. It is worth mentioning that Dr. Andrew Ahoto Sema and Master Aaron Akivito Sema were the only individuals who represented the entire country of India and that too from Nagaland in the record-making event.
The team trekked from Lukla, the most dangerous airport in the world, to Kala Patthar which took them nearly 15 days back and forth from Kala Patthar. The weather at Kala Patthar was very extreme with temperatures going down to -19°Celsius during the day and dropping down to as low as -25°Celsius at Night which added to the low oxygen level at the high altitude made the event more challenging as it was an off-season trek which the team had undertaken. Despite the arduous and harsh weather conditions, the team wanted to prove to the world that even extreme weather conditions like the one they faced at Everest cannot deter them from voicing their message of climate change for a better world. The event was parallelly covered by MTV International channel where the channel shot 8 episodes of their Extreme Reality Show which will be telecasted in several countries.
The Mt. Everest Fashion Runway was successfully completed thus creating a rare history by registering in the Guinness Book of World Records as the Highest Altitude Fashion Show in the world. The main event of the Mt. Everest Fashion Runway was held at Kala Patthar below the world’s highest peak on 26th January 2020. The entire event was undertaken within a time span of 40 minutes during which the models walked the world’s highest ramp in dresses made of natural fabric which were recyclable and organic to voice their concerns for a greener environment. During their ascent to Kala Patthar, out of the initial 15 International Professional Super Models, some of the models started suffering from extreme altitude sickness and around 4 models and 2 camera crew members had to be rescued back using choppers halfway before reaching the top. Numerous high officials from Kathmandu also joined in the event by flying to the venue in Military Choppers from Kathmandu and throughout the event were under oxygen support.
During the entire stretch of the trek up to Kala Patthar and on their way back to Lukla, the team comprising of the organizers and models carried with them extra bags each to collect the thrash materials thrown by tourists and climbers on their way up and down Mt. Everest. This was done as a part of the team’s effort to keep the way up to Mt. Everest pristine and naturally clean. Dr. Andrew Ahoto also undertook a personal initiative of reflecting some deeper insights and thoughts on the issues of global warming, climate change, deforestation, etc. by writing environmental slogans and one liners on whiteboards where the international models tendered their autographs and were put up for display and photography to create a unique expression on climate change through literature.
In the backdrop of the event, Dr. Andrew Ahoto Sema, the Chairman of Livingstone Foundation International propagated that governments around the world, especially in India, should incorporate Climate Change and Environment in the school curriculum from Primary to Secondary stage so that it gets due reflection in the education of children right from the early schooling years as this is not a concern for only the grown-ups and the world leaders. According to him, young children in schools should be taught the real aspects of life like skills, hobbies, values like sympathy-empathy, manners and etiquettes at an early age more than the intricacies of bookish knowledge as the basic concepts about real life are learned as essential elements for survival as an individual and not for career and success alone. The same can be metaphorically conveyed through the example of immunization where a child’s immune system gets boosted for his adult life through the vaccines that he receives at various stages of his childhood. In the same way, the knowledge that the child garners about the above at the early stages of life makes him a socially responsible citizen of the planet.
Meanwhile, he has also expressed his unconditional gratitude to the Government of Nepal especially the Ministry of Tourism for the immense support rendered during the event. The event also gains prominence as the Govt. of Nepal had declared the year 2020 as the year of ‘Visit Nepal’. He also thanked the sponsors and partners of the event including Hotel Royal Singi, Summit Air, Mediciti Hospital, Asian Trekking and Nepal Tourism Board for their incredible support throughout the event. Dr. Andrew has also expressed his gratitude to the project’s mentor and organizer, Mr. Pankaj K. Gupta, Mrs. Ramila Nemkul, Designer, KASA and Mr. Riken Maharjan, CEO of R.B. Diamonds for spearheading and organizing the unique programme which was able to bring to the fore the burning issue of Climate Change and Sustainability around the globe.