Vijayawada

Neelima to run for a ‘healthy’ cause

Neelima Pudota who is on a mission to promote women’s health.— PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR  

Altitude junkie Neelima Pudota is obsessed with adventure. Known to the world as a mountaineer who almost made it to the peak of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, this year in April, the young adventurer is all set to push the boundaries again by running barefoot from Vijayawada to Visakhapatnam covering nearly 360 km.

Ms. Neelima will start running from the Benz Circle at 5 a.m. on Saturday (November 12) and cover 50 km every day.

Aim is freedom

“The objective is to promote the concept of allowing women to do what they like,” she has told The Hindu.

The 30-year-old former corporate employee will reach Vizag in a week and participate in the proposed Pinkathon there on November 20.

“Women’s health is paramount but unfortunately it is a neglected area. Our ancestors never led this kind of a sedentary lifestyle. We have given up all the good practices they had left behind and have embraced all the wrong things. It’s time to revive the good old things and pass on ‘healthy’ genes to our next generations,” she says emphatically. Referring to her plan to run barefoot, she says, ‘It’s no big deal. The roads are very good. We have this tendency to make fuss about everything around us. You don’t need to hit a gym to burn those extra calories. Look at the farmers working in fields, aren’t they fit and healthy,” she says.

Ms. Neelima shot into fame in May this year for being the first woman from Andhra Pradesh to almost reach the top of the Everest. She clarifies the confusion surrounding her feat: “My Sherpa [guide from Nepal] developed serious health issues forcing me to stop short of just 200 metres from the summit point,” she says.

Luck did not favour her in her maiden attempt last year (April 2015) when she reached till the base camp.

“I realised that I could have made it to the highest point without much difficulty as unlike many fellow mountaineers, I did not experience any health issues. But there was an earthquake and all of us had to be rescued by the Indian Air Force personnel,” she recalls.

“This year, the summit was so close that I could almost picture myself there, drinking in the view, savouring the success of the world at my feet,” she rues.

But the whole journey in the mountains is the most amazing experience, she says. “It’s not that we choose the mountains, but the mountains choose us. Many mountaineers meet their end on the difficult terrain. I survived and returned to share fascinating tales of the adrenaline rush at the world’s highest peak,” she says.

Next mission

Asked what her next mission would be, Ms. Neelima says she would continue to explore new vistas to sate her adventurous soul.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 6:33:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/Neelima-to-run-for-a-%E2%80%98healthy%E2%80%99-cause/article16442662.ece

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