Story of Arunima Sinha, the girl who conquered Mount Everest with a prosthetic leg


Arunima Sinha

The day her leg was amputated, Arunima Sinha took a pledge that many would find even difficult to comprehend. Her objective, from that day onwards, was not simply to prove her proficiency with a prosthetic leg, but was also to conquer the highest peak in the world – Mount Everest. The sense of accomplishment was what brought back her fearlessness as well as made her a motivation for everybody back home.

As a national level volleyball player, Arunima from Ambedkarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, was an unstoppable soul. When a gang of robbers drove her out of a moving train in 2011, she firmly concluded that she would not cringe down. She was tired of people looking at her with pity in their eyes, and mountaineering caught her eye. She found it as a perfect action to symbolic and tangible achievement. It literally embodied the spirit of fighting and conquering obstacles.

Arunima Sinha

She contacted Bachendri Pal in 2011 by telephone and signed up for training under her at the Uttarkashi camp of the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) 2012. Sinha climbed Island Peak (6150 metres) in 2012 as preparation for her ascent of Everest. Nothing could falter her from her dream. On her first deed while in transit to the summit, she was so cheerful to have achieved the base camp that she lost balance and tumbled to the ground, injuring herself in the process. In the following journey, there were no stepping tools to sustain her to the opposite side of a wide crevice. She was compelled to bounce crosswise over holes which in the event that she missed, would have ended her life. On the day she endeavoured to summit the Mount Everest, she and her Sherpa were the first to leave the camp. When they were very close to the summit, her Sherpa gave her some terrible news. Their oxygen levels were quickly exhausting, and they needed to return the following day for another attempt. Sinha was adamant on completing the summit that very day. With the help of the Sherpa, after two hours, they were at the pinnacle of Mount Everest, and of her success at 10:55 am on 21 May 2013. Those 7 minutes atop the summit were the best moments of her life. She just wanted to shout out to the world that she had done it.

Arunima Sinha has been included as one of the ‘People of the Year’ by Limca Book of Records in 2016. She is now dedicated towards social welfare and she wants to open a free sports academy for the poor and differently-abled persons. She is donating all the financial aids she is getting through awards and seminars for the same cause. The academy would be named Pandit Chandra Shekhar Vikalang Khel Academy. In her website arunimasinha.com, she is noted as saying, “I have achieved my goal but now I want to help physically challenged people to achieve their goal so that they can also become self-dependent and nobody looks at them with pity.”

Debarathi Choudhary | TOC

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