Braveheart who lost her leg after being thrown off train set to climb Mt Everest

Braveheart who lost her leg after being thrown off train set to climb Mt Everest

Arunima Sinha lost her one leg after she was thrown out of a moving train. Nearly two years after the tragedy struck, she is preparing to conquer Mount Everest - the world’s highest peak at 8,848 metres above sea level.

“When I was undergoing treatment at AIIMS (All India Institute of Medical Sciences) for four months, I could not do anything on my own. But then one day I decided to climb the Everest,” Sinha said.

If successful, Sinha would become the first differently-abled Indian woman to achieve the feat, which she plans to attempt with an artificial limb.

A 61-year-old American woman Rhonda Graham, a left-leg amputee, climbed Mount Everest in October 2011.

Sinha, 26, starts her expedition on April 1 with Susen Mahto, a mountaineer from Jharkhand, with whom she successfully scaled the 6,622-metre Mount Chhamser Kangri in Ladakh in 2012.

Both have been trained by Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest. Pal, who is also the chief of Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, said: “A year and a half ago, Arunima called me and expressed her desire to climb Everest. I could not believe that she wanted to do it without one leg”.

Sinha lost her leg in 2011 after she was thrown out of a moving train for resisting a robbery attempt.

 The fateful train journey ruined the career of a budding volleyball player who wanted to represent India. But, the steely resolve of the 26-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh could not diminish her interest in sport. This time, though, its mountaineering.

Though being an amputee, Arunima recognises the hardships that await her during the expedition and has been briefed by Mark Inglis, who is the only double amputee in the world to have climbed Mount Everest. “I asked him about the problems I could face in the scaling of the peak. He was very kind in advising me and boosting my confidence,” she said.

Arunima has undergone arduous training for over a year under the guidance of Bachendri Pal, who is the first Indian woman to have conquered the Everest.

“I have never seen a girl with so much determination. She is very focused towards her target and her mental strength is exemplary. I think she has all the qualities of being a successful mountaineer,” Bachendri, who heads the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation, said.