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Nepal earthquake: Melbourne woman killed

Mother of two Renu Fotedar was on Mount Everest when she killed by an avalanche triggered by a massive earthquake.

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Melbourne's Kashmiri community has lost a "gem" in the earthquake in Nepal, a close friend of Australian citizen Renu Fotedar has said.

She had a clarity of mind. She was a powerhouse. 

Avinash Raina said Ms Fotedar was a warm and giving person who impressed all who met her.

Former Melbourne resident Renu Fotedar: 'She was an inspiration to us all'.

Former Melbourne resident Renu Fotedar: 'She was an inspiration to us all'. Photo: Facebook

"She was an inspiration to all of us," Mr Raina said.

"Always smiling about what she was doing and spiritual with yoga and meditation. We have lost a gem," he said.

Ms Fotedar was travelling alone with a tour group when Saturday's devastating earthquake triggered an avalanche, killing at least 19 people at Mount Everest Base Camp 1.

Ms Fotedar last contacted family at a nearby camp and was to climb to Base Camp 1 on April 24. 

Ms Fotedar's husband Lokesh Fotedar has gone to Nepal to retrieve his wife's body for cremation in India, Mr Raina said. She is survived by her two sons - Australian National University graduate Tushar, and Sahil, a high-school student.

"It is hard to think what would be going on for them right now. Both are very sincere boys. It would very hard for them, especially the younger one. They were a close family and very close with their mother," Mr Raina said.

Ms Fotedar had lived in Switzerland for the last few years but lived in Warrandyte and Donvale when Mr Raina first met her. She was active in the Kashmiri Pandits Cultural Association for many years which was where Mr Raina first met her.

A spiritual and leadership counsellor, she had started her own business, Athena International Academy of Behavioural Sciences and Evolutionary Human Skills, which she said was aimed at helping people manage stress and to be productive. 

She edited a quarterly magazine on spirituality and leadership, called Sophia. In the first edition she described growing up in Kashmir, where she was drawn to the philosophy of Kashmiri Shaivism, and became interested in Greek mythology - both formed the basis of her spirituality.

"She was a very calm, very centred person and very dynamic," Mr Raina said.

"She had a clarity of mind. She was a powerhouse," he said.

He said there had been plans for her to speak at the Australia India Institute at Melbourne University later this year. 

Ms Fotedar loved to travel and be with nature, he said. She had previously travelled to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. She had also been on a 10-day retreat where she lived in the open air, surviving on water only, in a confined two-metre space near Alice Springs.

A prayer service will be held for Ms Fotedar at the Shirdi Sai Sansthan, Sai Baba Temple, in Halley Avenue Camberwell, on Tuesday at 7.30pm.