Arunima Sinha was a national volleyball player. When she was traveling on a train some thugs tried to snatch her golden chain. She fought back but was thrown out of the train and she lost her left leg. This happen when she was 24.
However, this accident never affected her spirit. At All India Institute of medical sciences Delhi, an artificial leg was fitted. A year Later she retrained as a mountaineer and become the first female with an artificial leg to scale Mount Everest. This is her unforgettable story of hope, courage, and inspiration. Read this story in her own words.
I had started dozing. My eyes were closed but my mind was awake. I remember someone saying that Bareilly would come after some time. I was in deep thought when I felt a hand tugging at my gold chain. A girl’s six sense is always her best companion.
I instinctively opened my eyes and saw four or five young men around me. Their Drunken looks and behavior gave me an inkling of their intention. I stood up in a flash to tell them that I had no intentions of parting with my chain. So they Came together at me.
Even though the compartment was full none of my fellow passengers got up to even inquire what was happening to forget about their coming to my rescue. I Had no option but to take out them on. So I caught a youth who was trying to size me up by his collar and pushed him back.
I kicked a couple of others. An exceptional battle had begun inside the train on the move. The wolves made another attempt to snatch my chain. Still, I resisted until one of them driven by frenzy gave me an extra hard kick using all his force. Off balance, I could not recover in time.
I literally flew out of the train still holding my mobile phone. I was mid-air when I flew right into another train moving on the next track. My body hit the moving steel and rebounded to my train. This ping pong must have continued for several seconds before gravitational force pulled me down. Despite my efforts, my left leg fell on the track.
‘Ghatchch’ that was the sound of my leg getting chopped. There was no one to her my intense scream.I lay motionless for while watching the red tail light of the train until it dimmed and faded into darkness. Then I fainted.
I was admitted to AIIMS Delhi on the intervention of the P.M.The union government would bear the entire cost of my treatment. Soon AIIMS began issuing a daily medical bulletin on my status. I was told that young people auto drivers and roadside vendors were carrying but candle marches to galvanize support for me and to pray for my recovery. With the help of my best and the latest technology gradually I started responding to the treatment.
One morning my brother in law sahib suddenly asks me, “Everest Chadogi?” he had just read an interesting piece of information in the newspaper:’No female amputee had ever scaled Everest. I wasn’t amused.”
I have lost a leg and you are talking of Mt.Everest?”I started talking to myself: If I could take a shot at Everest and succeed I would become the first female amputee to hold that record…I thought about it for some time and then conveyed to Sahib my willingness to take up the challenge.” Theek hai hum karengey.”
I said I now had something to look forward to a mission a goal, a reason to dream. It was not going to be easy. But throughout my life, nothing had come easy. I felt like I born again.
Then I started waiting for my artificial limb to arrive. When it finally arrived, I was overjoyed. The artificial leg felt almost like my real leg. I could hardly feel the difference. I had started falling in love with this stranger whom I was wedded for life. I had set my eyes on a mountain and I needed to prepare myself with the help of this stranger.
On 28th February 2012 almost a year after I have pushed out the train, I Set out for the training institute set up by backend Pal near Uttarkashi. I called up Bachendri pal to tell her that we had reached Uttarkashi. She was surprised at how quickly I had reached.
After this, my confidence skyrocketed. Bachendri pal always pumped fresh confidence in me Arunima you are far better than others. These people seem to be suffering from a handicap, I am proud of you. But before the Everest expedition, you will have to prove yourself. If you climb 21,798 feet high chamsar Kangdi mountain in Ladakh, You will be on your way to Everest.
I successfully completed that expedition. By the time we reached the base camp situated at 18000 feet, sixteen of the nineteen members of the team had retired. Bachendri pal announced that I was finally ready for Everest. She Also assured me that she would talk to the officials at Tata Steel for sponsoring my Everest dream.
I arrived at Everest base camp on 11th April 2013. Exactly two years had passed since I was thrown out of the moving train. At the camp, nobody seemed to know that I had an artificial leg. One day while returning my left leg got wet with snow because I had slipped a couple of times on the slippery surface. Next morning I left the artificial leg out in the sun to dry. At that time some foreigners realized that I had only one leg. After that my TRP soared.
In my final expedition to Sagar Matha, Neema Kancha was my mountain guide. He was a nice and helpful Nepalese man who used to scold me at times when upset.
The last track to the peak of Everest began. It was a very dangerous narrow path. I slipped and fell once even my oxygen was running out. I was struggling with my paining leg. My sherpa said I must quit but I knew that there was no going back.
I pushed forward though my sherpa kept insisting that I should return. I have enough oxygen to reach the summit and hoist the country’s flag. What happens afterward doesn’t matter anymore I told Neema Kancha firmly. Remember none can defeat you until you concede.
Yes, occasional failures will test you but keep trying. some doors of opportunity will certainly open. Then I could see him following me even as I continued to drag myself to the top. The drag walk drag continued till finally happened.
The top is small 20*20 ice table. I saw several flags of various countries fluttering proudly. I had lived this moment so many times in my mind that I did not have to be told finally I had arrived. At 10.55 am on 21st May 2013 I was at the top of the world.
I felt like dancing, crying, laughing at the same time. My mind was a kaleidoscope of emotions. Everyone has reason to be alive. Maybe this was mine. I held my flag and raised both my hands high up to register my country’s record.