Listening to the Story of Arunima Sinha will definitely have everyone getting goosebumps. The super girl who conquered Mount Everest with an amputated leg. She not only proved her ability with her prosthetic leg but also made her a source of motivation, for everybody back home.
Arunima hails from Ambedkar nagar, Uttar Pradesh. She was a national level volleyball player till 1988 and was unstoppable. But life had something very cruel in store for her. The incident which turned things completely out of her hand. In 2011, she was travelling to New Delhi in general coach when a bunch of robbers tried to snatch her belongings. When She resisted, the robbers drove her out of a moving train. She battled in hospital for her injury, leg as well as her honour. It took her long to convince the police that she hadn’t attempted suicide or met with an accident. The day she was given the amputated leg, Arunima took a vow that many would find even difficult to understand. Her aim, from that day onwards, was to simply prove her worth by climbing the highest peak in the world – Mount Everest.
Against all odds- Fighting it back
The challenge was huge. Arunima decided to fight back. She drew inspiration from Yuvraj Singh’s story who battled cancer successfully. She was determined that she would not cringe down because of her amputated leg.
Arunima first became capable of walking with her amputated leg. After some months, She contacted Bachendri Pal. Pal is the first woman to climb Mt Everest. In 2012, at the Uttarkashi camp of the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), Sinha was signed up for coaching under her. Arunima also took continuous training in the mountainsby Srijani Ganguly.
Road to Success
On her first attempt while in transit to the summit, she was so happy to have achieved the base camp that she lost balance and fell to the ground, wounding herself in the process. In 2012 itself, Arunima climbed Mount Chhamser Kangri with her amputated leg. She and her Sherpa were the first to leave the camp on the day she started to summit the Mount Everest. Just close to the summit, her Sherpa gave her some terrible news. The oxygen levels of the mountaineers were exhausting quickly. They had to return back and had to attempt their journey again on the following day.
Arunima was persistent on finishing the summit that very day. She achieved her goal of conquering Mount Everest in 17hrs, at 10:55 am on 21 May 2013. Those 7 minutes on the top were the most memorable moments of her life. She wanted to shout aloud to everyone that she had finally done it.
Awards and Recognition
Arunima till date can’t fully explain that feeling, of spending those six to seven minutes on the summit. She says, “I felt like opening my arms in the air and screaming loudly. I wished to tell the whole world that I’m on top, particularly to those who thought a woman with an amputated leg couldn’t do it. I removed my mask and shouted, and my sherpa was staring at me.” She thanked those who called her crazy and made fun of her. Even now whenever people who call her crazy about her ambitions, she loves that feeling. It makes her feel that she is very near to her goals.
In 2016, Arunima entered the Limca Book of Records, as ‘People of the Year’. Sinha is now a dedicated social welfare worker. She is dreaming to open a free sports academy as Pandit Chandra Shekhar Vikalang Khel Academy for the differently-abled persons and the poor. Arunima is presently donating all her financial aids for the same cause. There is book ‘Born Again On The Mountain: A Story of Losing Everything And Finding It Back’ narrating Arunima’ story. And in the near future, a biopic is also in making with Alia Bhatt playing the role of this inspirational mountain climber.