By Kaushik Kumar
New Delhi: India’s Arunima Sinha, the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest in 2013, recently added another feather to her cap by becoming the first female amputee to climb Mount Vinson, the highest peak of Antarctica.
The 30-year-old was a national-level volleyball player. She had one of her legs amputated when she was pushed out of a running train for resisting robbers in 2011. After the incident, Arunima resolved to scale seven highest peaks of seven continents.
With her dream accomplished, the Padma Shri awardee has now decided to open an international sports academy for the disabled kids.
Talking to IANS, Arunima said: “After fulfilling my dream, I now want to help the disabled kids and open an international sports academy only for them. I have faced various difficulties. I want our divyang kids shouldn’t go through such hardships.”
On what made her decide to chose mountaineering after the horrific incident, Arunima said: “I got a job in CISF. However, I declined as I knew mountaineering helps in developing confidence, which I needed the most at that time. It also help you teach how one can manage his or her life on low resources.”
Commenting on her journey over the years, Arunima said: “Being fitted with a prosthetic leg, I did a basic mountaineering course at the Tata Steel Adventure Academy and the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. I then trained under Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale Everest.”
“I trained without a break for two years, even climbing Island Peak in Nepal (over 20,000 ft) for practice,” she said.
On problems faced by mountaineers in India, Arunima said: “The main difficulty is finding sponsors. Even I was looking for sponsors from a long time. My wait ended last year when Qnet, a direct selling company, came forward to help me.”
“As mountaineering doesn’t come on TV, companies rarely show interest in sponsoring. I feel they should come forward in supporting the mountaineers, who always carry risks of losing their life,” she remarked.
(Kaushik Kumar can be contacted at [email protected])