Hari Budha Magar
2024

Hari Budha Magar

Veteran & Disability Advocate

more than a climb

meet hari

Hari Budha Magar is a father-of-three, husband, and veteran. Born in a cowshed in Nepal and growing up during the civil war, he joined the Royal Gurkha Rifles in the British Army at aged 19 and served for 15 years across five continents. In 2010, while on foot patrol in Afghanistan, Hari lost both legs to an IED. On recovery, and determined to change perceptions of what is possible for people with a disability, Hari took on numerous endurance challenges, including kayaking, cycling, running, wheelchair racing, skiing, and climbing. On 19th May, 2023, he achieved the pinnacle of those goals. After overturning a government ban in the Supreme Court of Nepal and developing prototype prosthetics, Hari became the first double above-knee amputee to summit Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak.

more than a climb
Nominated by: Mark Wood, FI'15
Class of 2024 Location Nepal
Follow hari's work:
Hari on Everest
Hari on Everest Author: Abiral Rai

I believe that everything we do has a reason. It’s not what we do but why we do it? When our ‘why’ becomes big enough, we are able to make bigger challenges possible. My goal is to positively transform the way people with a disability are perceived and, just as importantly, change the way they look at themselves. 

While attitudes towards disabilities in the western world have evolved, the same is not true everywhere. Where I was raised in Nepal, there is still a tendency to hide people with disabilities from public life, perhaps mistakenly believing that it is the best way to support them. Even if academically educated, many people still lack education about disability. I vividly remember a woman approaching me in Kathmandu and saying, “You’ve got fake legs! Why don’t you wear trousers? You’d look normal.” I replied, “this is normal to me.” These are the attitudes I want to change through the challenges I’m facing head-on. 

“My goal is to positively transform the way people with a disability are perceived and, just as importantly, change the way they look at themselves.”

- Hari Budha Magar
Hari on Everest
Hari on Everest Author: Abiral Rai

The challenges disabled people face were showcased in my successful attempt to summit Mount Everest in May 2023. The challenges expanded beyond the technical, which demanded training, precise planning, and the development of prototype equipment, and into challenging the Nepalese government. To even face the challenge, I first had to take the Nepalese government to court to overturn a ban on people with disabilities climbing Everest. The response since has been overwhelming and we are seeing more and more attitudes change. People with disabilities should not be seen as being poor, miserable, and living off benefits: we can also be successful and live happy and meaningful lives. There is more work to do. Climbing Everest was just one battle, there are many more to come.

never stop exploring

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