Arunima’s journey from railway tracks to Mt Everest

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New Delhi, May 30: Having achieved the world record feat of becoming the first woman amputee to conquer Mt. Everest, Arunima Sinha said her journey from the railway tracks to the highest peak in the world was full of struggle.

An ex-volleyball player at the national level, Arunima was thrown off a moving train nearly two years ago, and in a bid to save her life, the doctors had to amputate her left leg below the knee.

“My journey from the railway tracks to scaling Mt. Everest is a story of a real struggle,” Arunima, who reached the top of Mt Everest on May 21 before returning to the Capital from her Himalayan sojourn, said here today.

With an aim to climb Mt. Everest, Arunima had joined the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation-run training camp in Uttarkashi and since March 3, 2012 she had continuously been training under Bachendri Pal.

Stating that her expedition was full of challenges, Arunima explained, “Every step is dangerous there. I had more problems than normal people because of my artificial leg. There was a time when the gel in my leg had slipped out and there was blood but I could not dare to either remove my gloves or bare my leg as it could have led to severe frost bites. But I took my time and fixed it up before starting to climb back again.

“I also had to get acclimatised properly otherwise there could be a splitting headace. Moreover, there was a time when little oxygen was left in my cylinder and some people advised me to stop my expedition but I did not want to give up,” Arunima said.

“I continued against all odds and managed to reach the top and then could climb down also. I was extremely careful while coming down because if you are not careful, it could become fatal,” elaborated the 26-year-old.

Recollecting her days when she was admitted to a hospital after being thrown off from a train, Arunima said she decided to scale the Everest while she was still in the hospital bed.

“I was completely shattered when I was lying at the hospital bed with my one of my legs amputated and the other having a rod inside it, besides having other injuries in my body. Whosoever came to visit me at the hospital was sympathising with me and was wondering what I would do with my life,” she said.

“But I never wanted myself to be seen as a handicap or a helpless person, so I decided to conquer Mt Everest while I was still in the hospital,” recollected Arunima.

On her future plans, she said, “I want to start a sports academy for poor and physically challenged children in Unnao, UP.”

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