This is the journey from the tragic incident on the railway track to the top of Everest, the journey of a girl who set the dream to climb the world’s highest mountain peak while lying over the bed with one leg amputated. Her story proves that every dream can be fulfilled with determination and passion. If your desire is strong no disability can defeat your spirit and zest for achievement. Arunima Sinha has become the first female Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest.
Arunima Sinha was born in a small town called Ambedkar Nagar near Lucknow. She lost her father at the age of three. She was a national level volleyball player and decided to keep a hold on her sports to pursue a job and applied at CSIF.
The tragedy when Arunima lost her leg
Arunima having qualified for the post of Head Constable with the CISF received the call letter from Delhi. She boarded a train for Delhi on 12 April 2011, to take an examination to join the CISF. But unfortunately, that day the story of her life changed. She was thrown out of a running train by some robbers while she was resisting their chain-snatching attempt. She tried to get up. But the train ran over her leg. She was saved from death but one of her legs had to be amputated below the knee.
The desire to prove self and the birth of a dream
Media and people around her made stories that she committed suicide by jumping off the train. People visiting her in the hospital also showed pity in a weird sense such as, “Who will marry a one-legged girl?” But Arunima had no place for pity in her life. She decided to reclaim her SELF. She began to mull over the impossible dreams she could set for herself. She, lying over her bed with one leg amputated decided to climb on the top of Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. Her sole aim to climb Everest was the fact that she thought it was the toughest thing to do and the best way to prove herself.
Hard work to fulfil the dream
Usually, amputee patients take months, or even years, to get accustomed to their prosthetic limbs. She walked in two days. That was all the result of her strong will and determination toward her dream which was more powerful than her physical disability.
By March 2012, she started training in the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) camp in Uttarkashi under the mentorship of Bachendri Pal for her feat. For the next two years, she trained continuously in mountainous regions under Srijani Ganguly. There was “no Sunday, no Diwali and no Holi” for her. Nothing could waver her from her goal.
A journey laced with life-threatening probabilities to the top of Mount Everest
The journey to the Mount Everest was considered rather an impossible feat. There were many points in the trek where there were no ladders to support her to the other side of the wide gap. In some instances, she was forced to jump across gaps which if she missed, would have ended her life. Every day of the journey was steeped in danger.
The difficulty faced due to the artificial leg: Coming down from the mountain caused a lot of problems to Arunima. Her prosthetic leg would slip off due to sweat. She also suffered blisters on her leg and had to drag her feet for some time to reach a safe place to open her wound. Her artificial leg was very unstable on the ice. She even couldn’t tend to her wounds as her amputated leg would have suffered frostbite. She couldn’t even remove her gloves.
Close to Mount Everest, yet so far
On the day she attempted to summit the Mount Everest, she and her sherpa were the first to leave the camp. But as time went by, they were overtaken by many. Daylight too left them behind. When she and her sherpa were quite near the summit, her sherpa gave her a bad news. Their oxygen levels were fast depleting, and they had to come back the next day for another attempt. She felt really bad at that time but she knew she couldn’t go back and placed a foot ahead to reach her goal with great zeal and determination. Sherpa was also right behind her and soon they achieved their feat. However, it took 52 days to scale the highest peak in the world.
The impossible feat achieved
On 21st May 2013, Arunima erected the Indian flag on Mount Everest Summit. She screamed with a great joy and said, ”I wanted to tell everyone that I’m on top of the world, especially to those people who thought a woman and an amputee couldn’t do it.” This achievement not only brought back her self-confidence but made her an inspiration for all. Just at the age of 26, she became the first Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest. She proves that once you start working towards your goal with strong will and determination, no physical disability can ever stop you to achieve that goal.
She never stops dreaming
After climbing the world’s highest peak, her dream is to climb the highest peaks from each continent around the world. She with a new dream quotes:
“Abhi to hiss baanj ki Asli udaan baaki hai, Abhi Toh iss parinde ka imtahaan baaki hai,
Abhi abhi maine langah hai samandaron ko, Abhi Toh Pura aasman baaki hai”.(The real flight of this hawk is impending, right now this bird is yet to be tested. Though I have leapt the seas, the entire sky is remaining).
She scripted the history by becoming the first female Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest. She received the honourable Padma Shri award in January 2015 too, which is the fourth highest civilian award in India. She is also awarded Tenzing Norgay Highest Mountaineering Award in India same as Arjun Award.
Motivational Quotes by Arunima Sinha
“Disable are not the ones who are ‘ physically disabled. In fact, the disabled are the ones whose thoughts are wounded. Those who give up in life are the ones who are disabled”.
“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”
“Arise, Awake and Stop not till your goal is reached.”
“Until you’re broken you don’t know what you’re made of. It gives the ability to build yourself all over again, but Stronger than ever.”
“Success is not measured by what you do compared to what others do, it is measured by what you do with the ability God gave you.”
“The road to confidence is paved by daily accomplishments.”
“Sometimes you have to go through the worst days of your life. Only then can you achieve your goals”.
“Set your goals high in life, and don’t stop until you reach there!!!”