Parasports December 16, 2018
India roots for Arunima Sinha as she sets to scale Antarctica’s highest peak
Arunima Sinha has her eyes firmly set on the next big mission. This time the amputee mountaineer plans to unfurl the Indian flag on top of Mount Vinson, the highest peak in Antarctica.
Apart from Mount Everest, the 30-year-old has climbed the highest peaks of five continents and plans to do so in all seven.
Before taking the flight to Antarctica, Sinha met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi handed her an Indian flag to carry to the top of Mount Vinson.
In a tweet, the PM said, “India is proud of Arunima’s accomplishments and her fortitude inspires us all”.
It’s an achievements countless other Indians are watching closely. Para swimming champion Shams Alam who had the opportunity to interact with Sinha at a Mumbai function two years ago says she is nothing less than a warrior.
Arunima and I were guests at a program in Mumbai and I heard her story for the first time. I was stunned and moved by what she has gone through. Her story is truly inspiring especially given the barriers women with disabilities face in India. – Shams Alam, Para swimming champion
Sinha’s story is truly remarkable. A national-level volleyball player, she was pushed from a running train in 2011 by robbers when she resisted them. One of her legs had to be amputated from below the knee as a result.
The incident changed her life, but she did not allow the disability to define her. Apart from a 52-day trek to Mount Everest, she has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2014, Mt Kosciuszko in Australia in 2015, Mt Aconcagua in Argentina in 2015, Mt Kosciuszko in Australia (2015), and Mt Elbrus, Europe in 2014.
In climbing the next peak in Antarctica, she will make history as the first woman amputee to climb all seven summits. Her achievements, says blogger Vinayana Khurana make a larger statement for people with disabilities. Khurana, who is a Delhi University student, is a wheelchair user and actively blogs about issues related to disability issues.
“It’s an amazing height that she has achieved and I am sure it was not easy given the stereotypical ideas of Indian society where a person with a disability is seen as nothing more than a burden”.
Now as Arunima Sinha gets set to make history yet again, there are countless Indians praying for her. Dr Ketna Mehta, Founder, Nina Foundation has this inspiring message.
“Climb every mountain, Ford every stream, Follow every rainbow, Till you find your dream. This song from the popular movie Sound of Music is so apt for our champion below-knee amputee Arunima Sinha. So what if she faced a storm in her life when at a young age she was pushed by robbers off of a running train. This and many other struggles has not stopped her in overcoming all the barriers that our inaccessible society keeps putting before our friends with disabilities in India. She is a true hero. A real role model. A champion. More accolades and gutsy power to you Arunima. Conquer this peak too”.
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