While trying to know and understand VOSAP, my mind kept on thinking about regions/States where I have lived and am living currently, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh in India. And assessibility for SAP in these regions. In these places, tracking up and down the hill is almost as inevitable as breathing. In toughest terrain, there is no transportation at all.

Total no of specially abled people in Uttarakhand and Himachal are 1,85,272 and 1,55,316 respectively, with 36,996 and 32,550 having concerns with body movements as well(Census 2011). Surely, we need to go a long way for making things accessible for them.

But here, I am share a story of a courageous lady, “Arunima Sinha – first female ampute to climb Everest.” Arunima was a National level volleyball player. Once, travelling via train, she was badly hit by thieves as she was trying to resist them from taking away her gold chain and bag, she was then thrown away from the moving train. Recalling the incident she said, “I resisted and they pushed me out of the train. I remember seeing a train coming towards me but I could not move. I tried getting up but by then, the train had run over my leg. I was in extreme pain and very soon, I realised, I had broken my leg. Entire night, I was lying down on the railway track and there was nobody to help around, 49 trains crossed over my body.” Next day morning she was taken to Bareilly Government hospital in Uttar Pradesh. Doctors had to amputate below the knee to save her life. 2 years later, she became first female ampute to Climb Everest.

Arunima thought, she could do it and she did it. She says, “I did not do it with my leg, I did it with my mind and heart. When I reached the top, I was extremely happy, I wanted to scream and thank everybody who had helped me achieve this.” Again, the journey was not easy, managing to climb all the peaks with an artificial leg was no joke, but she accomplished it. Her oxygen cylinder was to get over, even then, she continued climbing. The brave lady said, “I had 2 choices then:

  1. To save my life, come down and tell the World that I could not make it
  2. To fulfill my aim and win the trust of all, who had given me this opportunity

I chose the latter.” She further describes, while reaching the top, I asked my Sherpa to take a video of me, although by then he knew I was crazy girl. But I wanted to share this message to all, especially youth that an ampute could climb Everest. While getting down, when her oxygen cylinder was almost over. Weather turned bad and a British tracker, carrying 2 oxygen cylinders, started going downwards, leaving a cylinder and she got one. Indeed,its said, “Fortune favours the brave.”

Today, she dreams to accomplish 7 highest summit in different continents. She has got 20 acres land in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh to build an Sports Institute, to help others, who dare to dream big. She has adopted 40 SAP, in the age group (4-20), provides them with school curriculum, sports, women empowerment and safety. She dreams of a society where all SAP are capable to create livelihood for themselves.

Cheers to 4 beautiful lines composed by her in Hindi :

“Abhi toh is baanj ki asli udaan baki hai,

Abhi toh is Parinda ka imtahan baki hai

Abhi Abhi langha hai samundar ko

Abhi toh pura aasman baki hai.”