She Did Not Need Legs To Climb Everest. She Had Courage Bigger Than The Mountain
Meet Arunima Sinha, the woman who refuses to give up.
Arunima Sinha, the girl from Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, is no ordinary person. She has already achieved what others can’t even think of, but her iron will is taking her towards accomplishing bigger and higher goals.
A national volleyball player, Arunima’s dreams of a bright future and promising career were shattered when a train went over her left leg, crushing it below the knee in 2011. She was 23 at the time.
Arunima had been thrown out of the train by a couple of thugs after she refused to surrender her gold chain to them. It was post-midnight. Arunima could feel rats gnawing at her wound. And help would not come until dawn.
She was discovered by residents of a nearby village and taken to the district hospital in Bareilly where half of her left leg was amputated to prevent the spread of gangrene. According to Arunima, she had to go through the procedure without anaesthesia as the hospital was short on supplies. The bones in her right leg were also mangled, so a rod was inserted for support.
Her condition was bad. But she was not finished.
She wanted to tell the world that she doesn’t need sympathy. To prove her mettle, she decided to climb Mount Everest – the highest peak in the world. It was the most difficult goal she could set for herself but her family supported her.
After getting out of hospital, Arunima contacted Bachendri Pal – the first Indian woman to climb the Everest, in 1984. Bachendri was heading Tata Steel Adventure Foundation at that time. She was impressed by Arunima’s determination and agreed to help.
Under her guidance, Arunima embarked on her brave journey.
She did a course from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering and started training extensively. At first, she climbed smaller mountains, had her share of accidents, and prepared herself for Everest in 18 months. Bachendri also got her a sponsorship from Tata Steel.
With her funding taken care of, Arunima started climbing the Everest on April 2, 2013 and reached the top on May 21.
A girl, left for the dead on a railway track in 2011, was literally on top of the world in just two years. A truly remarkable feat!
Arunima became the world’s first female amputee and India’s first amputee to conquer Everest.
But she wanted to do more. She had to continue scaling new heights so she decided to climb the highest peaks across the world. She has now climbed the majority of them. Her mission is ongoing.
Arunima has also written a book on her life launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in December 2014.
In 2015, she was honoured with Padma Shri – the fourth highest civilian award in India.
There were also reports of her being in talks with film-maker Farhan Akhtar who wants to make a movie on her life.
With so much going on in her life, you’d think she might not have time to think about anything else. Wrong!
This super woman has been training poor and differently-abled children for some time and has plans to build a non-profit sports academy for them. Although she doesn’t have the funds or a roadmap for the project, the kind of fighter and survivor she is, she is certain of accomplishing her goal.
And we hope she does that sooner! Amen!