Arunima Sinha speaks at Beldih Club on Friday.
Picture by Bhola Prasad
When you listen to Everester Arunima Sinha speak, you feel nothing is impossible.
On Friday, the girl who lost a leg but went on to scale the world’s highest peak, stood tall as a symbol of courage and hope for 18 differently-abled persons and others who attended Rotary Club of Jamshedpur’s annual programme Ummeed at Beldih Club.
Ummeed, an awareness and sensitisation seminar for disabled persons, is a part of Rotary’s Project Disability that ensures help to all special persons in Jamshedpur.
Arunima, incidentally the first amputee to conquer the Everest, was the guest of honour at the seminar. She motivated everyone when she spoke about her ordeal to climb the highest mountain.
“The biggest motivator is your inner spirit. People made me a laughing stock, but I had decided my goal on my hospital bed (when she lost her leg resisting a chain-snatching attempt in 2011, when she was flung on tracks). Twice I felt I would die, but I never quit and won the battle,” Arunima said, adding her challenge was to prove that a disabled middle-class girl wasn’t weak.
Six wheelchairs, five elbow crutches and seven crutches were also distributed among underprivileged beneficiaries.
Reconstructive surgeon Anil Pandey also shared his experiences in dealing with polio-hit persons, while Vivek Kumar, state co-ordinator for Jharkhand Viklang Manch, and Jeeja Ghosh, head of advocacy and disability studies at Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy in Calcutta, spoke about awareness.
Social worker Ruchi Narendran was the chief guest. The meet also saw representatives of disability groups, academics, NGOs and club members.
“Founded in 1936, we still continue to do our work,” said Anita Gupta, in-charge of the club’s Project Disability.