Arunima Sinha (left) with her mentor Baichendri Pal. The 25-year-old mountaineer, who uses a prosthetic leg, has been training in the Himalayas with the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation since March 2012
If mountains could talk, the world’s tallest peak, Mt Everest, would probably have congratulated this 25-year-old girl from Lucknow.
Thrown out of a moving train by a five men trying to snatch her gold chain in 2011, Arunima Sinha lost a leg. But what she did gain from that experience was determination, confidence and a goal — to try and set foot on the tallest mountain of the world.
Two years, and a number of rigorous training sessions later, Arunima is ready to take a shot at history. She will attempt the Everest peak on an artificial limb in April-May in an expedition that will be sponsored by Tata Steel.
Legendary climber Bachendri Pal, who has been training Sinha for nearly a year in the Uttar Kashi region, said she was confident of the girl’s abilities.
“She has a lot of guts. I have trained her for the Everest expedition and am sure that she will come out a winner,” Pal told The Telegraph.
Recounting her days in the mountain with Arunima, Pal said the girl fought blisters and wounds on her leg to keep on climbing.
“I used to shiver at the sight but she smiled through it all. She often used to say that the trauma of losing a leg for her was perhaps less challenging than conquering the Everest peak,” Pal said.
The blisters, Arunima said, were a result of friction caused by the prosthesis on her knee. The artificial leg worn by her was plastic coated and had a carbon rod inside.
“The upper end of the artificial limb that she wore came in contact with her knee with every step she took. This led to blisters and wounds. It was a very painful affair. But she carried on despite all odds. In fact, she used to trek for 8-10 km daily to prepare herself,” Pal said.
Arunima’s brother Omprakash said she used liner socks that protect her knee from coming into contact with the artificial limb.
“The liner is supposed to soak the blood trickling out from the wound. However, it is not foolproof and leaves scope for blisters. About 100-150 mg of blood came out from her knee when she trekked to Surya Top (13,500 ft) or Darwa Top (13,000 ft),” added the head constable with CRPF who quit his job to support her sister’s endeavour.
Arunima would be training till mid-March before coming back to Jamshedpur. She will then leave for New Delhi, before making way to Kathmandu, one of the gateways to the Everest.