A Story of Courage and Determination | Arunima Sinha, the First Indian Amputee to Climb Mount Everest

Ms Arunima Sinha of Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh) is the first Female Amputee of the world to climb Mount Everest. She is also the first Indian Amputee to climb Mount Everest. She reached the summit of Mount Everest on 21st May, 2013 at 10.55 hours after a hard toil of 17 hours, as a part of the Tata Group sponsored Eco Everest Expedition. She took 52 days to reach the summit.

She was formerly a national level volleyball player. While traveling by train from Lucknow to New Delhi on 11th April, 2011, she was pushed out of the running train by the thieves wanting to snatch her bag and gold chain at about midnight. Her left leg below the knee was crushed. There were multiple injuries in her body. About 50 trains passed over her as she was lying between the two tracks in helpless condition. Next day morning she was rushed to Bareilley civil hospital with serious injuries. The doctors amputated her infected left leg below the knee to save her life. Then she was shifted to All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi. While she was undergoing treatment there for four months, she resolved to climb Mount Everest.

When she was about one thousand feet away from the summit, her oxygen cylinder got almost empty. She was told to come back but she decided to take the risk of her life and marched forward and reached the summit. She placed the Indian flag on the top of the summit along with the flag of Tata Steel (sponsoring agency). Then she worshiped the photograph of Holy Trio (Swami Vivekananda, Bhagwan Shri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi) and left it there for good. After the worship, she unexpectedly found an oxygen cylinder left by an Englishman, who had dropped one of the two cylinders as it was too heavy. This is how she survived and came back. She feels that she survived because of the grace of Holy Trio, therefore she has resolved to place the photos of Holy Trio on remaining six summits of the world, she has already placed the photographs on Mount Killmanaro of Africa (11 May, 2014 And Mt. Elbrus of Russia (24th July, 2014).

She was felicitated by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India at Vadodra on August 10, 2013 during the international youth conference organized by Ramakrishna Mission, Vadodra. She was felicitated by Shri Narendra Modi, the then Chief Minister of Gujarat on January 11, 2014 at Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar in the presence of a large number of youths of India and abroad and a large number of dignitaries. She has received many prestigious awards from many reputed organizations — Salam India Award by India TV, Bharatiya Nari Shakti Award by India Today etc. The Vice-President of India Shri M. Hamid Ansari presented an ‘Amazing India Award’ instituted by Times Now channel on 6 Feb. 2014. The Governor of Rajasthan Mrs. Margret Alva presented International Vaish Federation Award .

She has now dedicated herself to the social cause. She actively participated in Uttarakhand Relief Work. She is planning to start a Sports Academy for poor and differently abled people and is motivating thousands of youths throughout the country with her inspiring life story and the message of Swami Vivekananda. She has delivered many Motivational talks in educational institutions like IIM, Kolkata, IIM Ahmedabad, IIT, Kanpur and in international, national and regional level youth conventions organized by Ramakrishna Mission in various parts of India, and in many reputed companies. Both print media and electronic media have covered her life story in various ways and on various occasions which has inspired thousands of people throughout the country. A book on her life will be soon published by Penguin.

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She is now preparing herself for participating in Para Olympics, 2016 as a Blade Runner.

Because of her extraordinary courage and self-confidence and inspiring speeches, she is now becoming a role model for modern youth. She is a living example of women Empowerment & Development. Her life story is at once thrilling and inspiring and practical demonstration of the power of faith.

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