Arunima Sinha: the first female amputee to Conquer Everest

Arunima Sinha

We are living in the scenario where girls are one step ahead of boys. Women are taking decisions with regard to their life and work and have got equal rights in all spheres like personal, social, political, legal and so on. Arunima Sinha is the perfect example of this, called women empowerment.

There are inspiring stories and then, there are stories that shook you to the very core. These aren’t just life stories, these are tales of heroism, determination and endurance. These stories celebrate the spirit that is so rare in this world.

Arunima Sinha is a former Indian volleyball player, mountaineer and the first female amputee to scale Mount Everest and Mount Vinson. 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.

She was born in Ambedkar Nagar near Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. Her aim was to climb each of the continents’ highest peaks and hoist the national flag of India. She has already done six peaks till 2014: Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Kosciuszko in Australia, Aconcagua in Argentina and Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya) in Indonesia. Recently, on 4 January 2019, she completed her final peak of Mount Vinson in Antarctica.

The train incident-

Sinha boarded the Padmavat Express train at Lucknow for Delhi on 12 April 2011, to take an examination to join the CISF. The thieves pushed her out of a general coach of the train wanting to snatch her bag together with the gold chain. Recounting the incident, she said:

“I resisted and they pushed me out of the train and I could not move. I remember seeing a train coming towards me and tried getting up. By then, the train had run over my leg. I don’t remember anything after that.”

Immediately, as she fell on the railway track, another train on a parallel track crushed her leg below the knee. She was rushed to the hospital with not only serious leg injuries but also pelvic injuries and lost her leg after doctors amputated it to save her life.

On 18 April 2011, she was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and was provided a prosthetic leg. Climbing Mount Everest with two legs is extremely difficult, so we can imagine how challenging it would have been with a prosthetic leg. Still, she resolved to climb Mount Everest. After becoming the first female amputee to scale Everest, she said: “It was my tribute to Shankara Bhagawan and Swami Vivekananda who has been an inspiration throughout my life.” Arunima has penned down her chronicle in book  titled ‘Born again on the mountain: A story of losing everything and finding it back’. The book was launched at the hands of Prime Minister Modi in 2014.