Tila Roka: A Trekking Guide with a Vision
Born in a small village in Syangja, Tila Roka comes from a large family. She has three elder sisters, three younger sisters, two elder brothers, and one younger brother. During her childhood, she had a typical upbringing, attending school and helping her family at home. She completed her 12th-grade education in her village but had to walk two hours daily when she was in her school days.
Her father worked as a driver, and her mother was a homemaker involved in agriculture. When she was in the 8th grade, her father passed away due to cancer, and tragically, in the same year, her eldest brother also died in an accident. A few years later, both of her remaining brothers also passed away, leaving no males in the family. Tila took on the role of the family's breadwinner and assumed responsibility for her family's well-being.
Life was relatively comfortable while her father was alive, but after his passing, the family faced financial challenges. Tila moved to Pokhara to seek better opportunities. Her first job was as a receptionist in a Yoga Center, and she started a bachelor's degree, although she had to discontinue due to other priorities and her job. While working as a receptionist, her colleagues encouraged her to join 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking in 2011. Initially, she knew little about trekking but joined to learn new things, improve her English, and experience adventure.
In the early days, she started her career as an assistant and after a year she was promoted as an assistant guide. In 2015, she started working as a permanent guide at 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking. Initially, her family and relatives did not support her, believing that a woman travelling alone was not a secure profession. They thought she should pursue a government job instead. However, over time, her parents were proud of her achievements. Her own sister also joined 3 Sisters and participated in trekking.
Tila believes that trekking is a good profession, as it allows her to earn a decent income in a short period of time. Moreover, she wanted to do something unique that no woman from her village had done before.
At the age of seven, while playing with her sisters, a bamboo stick accidentally struck her eye, causing partial vision loss. Despite this incident, she has not let her vision impairment hinder her trekking career. She can now only see with one eye, but it hasn't stopped her from exploring the world. During the trekking offseason, she returns to her village to stay with her mother and take care of her.
Joining the 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking company has changed her life, making her independent and able to support her family. She now has the freedom to earn and spend money as she wishes.