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‘Sherpas were sending me back’
Friends and family greet Premlata at Jamshedpur station on Thursday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Bokaro/Jamshedpur, June 2: Tears had welled up in her eyes when she had romanced a mellowed sun from her Everest throne on May 20. Almost a fortnight later, mountain queen Premlata Agarwal was down to earth, reminiscing on her cherished 15 minutes of glory on the top of the world.

“Actually, sherpas had doubts that I won’t be be able to undertake the trip from base camp at this age,” she recalled at a felicitation organised by Tata Steel in Jamshedpur Thursday evening.

“Men and women between 25-30 took oxygen cylinders from camp II. But I took it from camp III, dispelling their doubts about my abilities.”

Before reaching her hometown of Jamshedpur, the 45-year-old mother of two got a taste of the welcome she was in for at Bokaro where her Rajdhani took a scheduled 10-minute halt, allowing Marwari Yuva Sangh members to garland her.

The Telegraph was there

Who do you give credit to for your huge success?
Bachendri Pal, my trainer and guru. Tata Steel for reposing faith in me. My family for supporting me. And my state for thinking me worthy of this honour

Your first reaction when you reached the summit.
I was in tears. I thanked god, my birthplace and everyone I could remember in that moment of extreme happiness

When and why did you become a mountaineer?
I started late. At 37. It was like a challenge I didn’t want to lose

What role did your family play?
They stood by me like a rock. My husband, in-laws, children and parents had unwavering faith in me

Your advice to GeNext climbers.
Dream big. Work hard. And always believe you can

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