Arunima Sinha: Scaling Heights

Blog by: Raj Kishan

Michael Jordan, a Basketball legend said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you, if you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Everybody will say that these words are amazing but only amazing people would follow them. One of those amazing people, who climbed high, actually the highest peak in the world, is the ever so determined Arunima Sinha.

For any athlete, losing a limb would be huge set back but not for our high flying, Arunima Sinha.
Arunima was a national level volleyball player and football player. She trained hard and did everything right. But, an unfortunate incident changed her life. She was pushed from a running train by some robbers in 2011 while she was resisting them. As a result, one of her legs had to be amputated below the knee.

“I resisted and they pushed me out of the train. I could not move. I remember seeing a train coming towards me. I tried getting up. By then, the train had run over my leg. I don’t remember anything after that.” She explains her horrific tragedy. After a long battle against the Railways she won the case. The railway tribunal ordered that Ms Sinha must be paid 7,00,000 rupees in compensation after her legal team was able to prove that she had been travelling on a valid ticket and had been pushed from a moving train by robbers.

Even the magnitude of tragedy didn’t shake her stubborn nature and she chose one of the most difficult sports. Mountaineering, in itself is a difficult sport, let alone on one leg. But, winners don’t worry about the path they just set their eyes on their goal and work hard to achieve it.

 The 29 year old, rock of a woman, Arunima was just 24 in 2011, when the tragedy struck. While dealing typical social taunts and questions are hard, she challenged herself furthermore and decided to climb Mount Everest. In 2013 she did just that, becoming the world’s first female amputee, and the first Indian amputee, to achieve this feat. “I stubbornly chose the most difficult sport for myself. When I reached the summit, I felt like screaming at the top of my voice. I wanted to tell the world: here I am. I have saved that moment inside me,” she said in an interview.

The ill fated train trip is behind her now. Her aim was to climb all the continents’ highest peaks and hoist the national flag of India. She has already conquered six peaks: Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Kosciuszko in Australia, Aconcagua in Argentina and Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) in Indonesia.

Ambedkar Nagar (UP) original resident, Arunima, received acknowledgment from national and state government in form of appreciation and financially. She was awarded Padma Shri, in 2015.She is Awarded Tenzing Norgay Highest Mountaineering Award in India same as Arjun Award. Her book,’Born again on the mountain’, was launched by Prime minister of India Narendra Modi in December 2014.

She is all the motivation you’ll need! So climb high and leave your mark in this world.