At 10.55 a.m. Tuesday, Arunima Sinha, 26, became India’s first woman to conquer Mt. Everest on a prosthetic leg. A former national volleyball player, Arunima lost her left leg, having been thrown off a moving train for resisting a chain-snatching attempt by some criminals on April 12, 2011.
She sustained serious leg and pelvic injuries, and to save her life, doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee. Arunima, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, was airlifted to Delhi’s All-India Institute of Medical Sciences Trauma Centre.
Arunima completed her expedition from Kathmandu to the top of the peak in 52 days.
As per information released on Tuesday by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), which supported her climb, Arunima followed Susen Mahato, another climber of the Foundation, who scaled Mt. Everest on May 19, 2013.
Before leaving for her expedition, Arunima had said she “had decided to get her life back right in the hospital when she was recovering.”
“When I was in the hospital, everyone was worried for me, and I realised that I had to do something in my life so that people would stop looking at me with pity. I spoke to my elder brother and my coach about climbing the Everest, and they encouraged me,” she said.
For her successful climb, Arunima trained under Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to conquer the Everest. Congratulating Arunima on her achievement, Ms. Pal said: “It’s a moment of pride for the whole nation. The spirit, mental strength and will power of Arunima have been exemplary … She has defied all odds and will be an inspiration for millions throughout the world.”
Thrilled at his patient having conquered Mt. Everest, AIIMS Trauma Centre head M.C. Misra said: “I knew that she wanted to climb the Everest but I am absolutely speechless and happy to hear that she has managed to do it so soon.”
Saluting Arunima’s “courage, grit, determination and dedication,” Tata Steel official Sunil Bhaskaran said: “These qualities played a major role in her very special achievement. Youth of the country will derive inspiration from achievers like Arunima who have now etched their names in history for their extraordinary and brave achievements, despite all odds.”