Undaunted: Arunima Sinha in Jamshedpur on Friday. (Bhola Prasad)
Waist-high snow, icy winds, slippery terrain. This is what young Arunima Sinha is looking forward to as she and Tata Steel Adventure Foundation instructor Susen Mahto eye the Everest this summer.
Uttar Pradesh girl Arunima, a national-level volleyball player who was thrown out of a general compartment of a moving train in Bareilly in April 2011, had to get her left leg amputated at Chattrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University in Lucknow.
Getting used to the artificial limb — a prosthetic leg — took time, but she learnt to dream big. “Mountaineering became my passion after I lost my leg,” the gutsy 26-year-old, supported by Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) and India’s first woman Everester Bachendri Pal, said at a news meet here on Friday.
Tata Steel is sponsoring the Everest trek of Arunima and Mahto. The duo will start the uphill climb on March 31 from Lukla (near Kathmandu). They will depart for Nepal from New Delhi on March 28.
TSAF chief Bachendri and city mountaineer Chinmoyee Mukherjee will go with the duo till Kathmandu.
Mahto, a resident of Paharpur in Seraikela-Kharsawan, knows mountains like the back of his hand. “We are ready and raring to go,” he added.
But he as well as others of TSAF such as secretary P.P. Kapadia as well as Tata Steel officials such as vice-president (corporate services) Sanjiv Paul are impressed by Arunima’s guts.
An amputee dreaming of the Everest and practising for a year in Uttar Kashi with Bachendri, not caring if her special liner socks get soaked with blood, is special.
“I’ve gone through a lot. But I never lost heart. I am confident about conquering the Everest,” Arinuma said, adding she went through a check-up at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi. “Orthopaedics have certified my fitness,” she said.
The girl has already scaled Surya Top at 13,000ft and Darwa Top at 13,500ft. “I also had more adventures at Mugdatal. We boiled snow to make water and drink it,” Arunima said, thanking Tata Steel and Bachendri for helping her attempt the world’s tallest peak.
“A very special thank you to my brother Om Prakash. I am standing tall,” the girl said.