Even Mount Everest is Possible if You Don’t Give Up | Story of Arunima Sinha
The sight from the pinnacle of Mount Everest is grand to such an extent that all of us have, once in our life, envisioned a visit to the peak. Be that as it may, not many individuals can track Mount Everest. Arunima Sinha has gone above and beyond the judiciousness of physical qualities. She is the world’s first woman to climb Mount Everest with a prosthetic leg.
Disabled are not the ones who are ‘physically’ disabled. In fact, disabled are the ones whose thoughts are wounded. Those who give up in life are the ones who are disabled.
Early Sporty Life of Arunima Sinha
Arunima Sinha was born in Ambedkar Nagar close to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Her father died when she was 3 years old. Since childhood she was into sports, preferred cycling, football and was a national volleyball player. She wanted to join the paramilitary force. She applied for CISF and got a call letter in 2011. However, in a weird twist of fate, her birth date was wrongly mentioned in the letter. She left for Delhi to get the incorrect date on her call letter rectified.
Train Accident that Changed Everything
Arunima was travelling from Padmavati Express train at Lucknow for Delhi on 12 April 2011, to take an examination to join the CISF. She was pushed out of a general coach of the train by robbers wanting to snatch her bag and gold chain.
Recounting the incident, she said: I resisted and they pushed me out of the train. I could not move; remember seeing a train coming towards me. I tried getting up. By then, the train had run over my leg. I don’t remember anything after that.
Arunima Sinha fell on the railway track and another train coming on the parallel track crushed her leg below the knee. She was rushed to the hospital with serious leg and pelvic injuries, and lost her leg after doctors amputated it to save her life.
But her thoughts became undoubtedly more powerful to reach even the highest peak in the world, Mt. Everest. This marked the first step for Arunima Sinha’s inspiring story.
Fight Back Attitude
While still being treated in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, she resolved to climb Mount Everest. She was inspired by cricketer Yuvraj Singh (who had successfully battled cancer) and other television shows, “to do something” with her life. With this serious injury she decided that she would not cower down but fight back. “I was an amputee now, and people were looking at me with pity in their eyes. I decided then and there that I would do something to prove myself. And mountaineering was the only option. It was the only option where there were no chances of saying sorry. If you committed a mistake, life would be the one saying sorry to you,” she says.
I found mountaineering as a perfect action to symbolic and tangible achievement. It literally embodied the spirit of fighting and conquering obstacles.
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.
Top of the World at the Mount Everest
On the day she endeavored to summit 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. At the Mt.Everest summit, she erected the Indian flag on the peak, and deposited some pictures of her idol Swami Vivekananda next to it. Assuming that she would die, she used the last vestiges of her oxygen to take photos and videos of herself on the peak. Probably she knew she was going to die.
Luck favors the brave, and it’s apt for Arunima.
She was brave enough to die and maybe the so-called “luck” supported her. On her way back downhill, her oxygen completed. But a British climber was turning his way back without reaching the top and threw away the extra oxygen. And his surplus oxygen somehow saved her day.
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 took 52 days to reach the summit. She wrote a small message thanking the Almighty on a wrapped cloth and pressed it in the snow. Recounting the incident, she said:
IT WAS MY TRIBUTE TO SHANKARA BHAGAWAN AND SWAMI VIVEKANANDA WHO HAS BEEN AN INSPIRATION THROUGHOUT MY LIFE.
Life’s Achievement of Arunima Sinha
1. After climbing Mount Everest. Arunima Sinha’s aims to climb all the seven highest peaks in all seven continents. She has covered six peaks,
- Everest in Asia
- Kilimanjaro in Africa
- Elbrus in Europe
- Kosciuszko in Australia
- Aconcagua in Argentina
- Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) in Indonesia
2. Wrote the book “Born again on the mountain”, launched by Prime minister of India Narendra Modi on December 2014.
3. Sinha was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015. She is Awarded Tenzing Norgay Highest Mountaineering Award in India same as Arjun Award.
4. Arunima Sinha has been included as one of the ‘People of the Year’ by Limca Book of Records in 2016.
Arunima Sinha’s latest achievement also includes the highest peak in Antarctica. She is the first woman amputee to have climbed Mount Vinson, in the continent of Antarctica, in Jan 2019.
Giving Back to Society
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.
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These inspiring lines are what Arunima concluded with:
Abhi toh iss baaj ki asli udaan baaki hai
Abhi toh iss parinde ka imtihaan baaki hai
Abhi abhi maine laangha hai samandaron ko
Abhi toh pura aasman baaki hai!
She is a great inspiration to all of us, an example of how to conquer our Everest in life. Most of us have these mountains in our mind; it’s just not mental but physical barriers too. And sure we can overcome these challenges by putting more focused efforts, that shows the power of not giving up..