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At the mere age of 24, Arunima Sinha boarded the Padmavati
Express to Delhi; hailing from a small district called
Ambedkarnagar: 200 kms off Lucknow. Like any other girl she had
dreams. She dreamt...
At the mere age of 24, Arunima Sinha boarded the Padmavati Express to Delhi; hailing from a small district called Ambedkarnagar: 200 kms off Lucknow. Like any other girl she had dreams. She dreamt of getting a job and living her daily life. Sports was always fun but never a passion. When she was finally appointed by the CSIF she realised that her birth date was printed wrong. Without further delay she left for Delhi to get the corrections done and to begin a new phase of her life. Little did she know that it would be a new life altogether.
As she boarded the train, it was crowded. She found herself a seat and as she began thinking about what the future holds. Four or five thugs started irritating her and demanding the gold chain she was wearing. It was a gift from her mother. She fought back and fought back great. Not one person came to her help in a fully crowded train. She was dragged towards the door of the train and thrown out. She flew into the oncoming train and the force made her fall on the opposite side of the tracks. Everything had happened so quickly it was hard to fathom all the events that occurred and when she was trying to make sense of everything, a train passed over her legs. She did not get the time to pull her legs away. She kept lying there suffering with pain. Its hard to imagine the agony she went through. A report later confirmed that 49 trains passed by but she was still lying there. Rodents would come and feed off the blood flowing from the wounds and would run away when a train came. She thought the night would never pass and that she would not have the chance to see the morning sun. The next day a few villagers noticed her and planned on taking her to the hospital. Thanks to the bureaucratic system in India, she was on the platform for a few hours before she was taken to the nearest medical centre.
It got worse from here: her left leg had to be amputated from knee below and the hospital was out of anesthesia so she sat there and manually saw her leg being amputated and had to bear the pain. The conditions were so bad that a person from the hospital donated blood as there were no extra units of it. Post operation, she was lying on the bed probably trying to put things in picture. A street dog waived into the room and started feasting on the part of the leg which was removed.
She was all over the media, but in a few days the stories changed. It became nothing more than a controversy. Some said she was travelling without a ticket and hence jumped off to run away. Some called it a suicide attempt. But only she knew what took place, only she bear the pain, only she could tell you the suffering.
This is when she decided that she needs to reach a new height, she decided on climbing the Mount Everest, tallest peak in the world. She undertook a 18 month training at the Nehru mountaineering institute, climbed many peaks before she made it to the Everest. It was obviously not easy. Many have lost their lives in the process. Once she reached the top her oxygen supplies ended. As she was struggling to breathe she found an extra oxygen cylinder and began her descent downwards, making her the worlds first female amputee and a Indias first amputee to make it to the Mount Everest. She was awarded the Padma Shri, Indias fourth highest civilian award for her achievement.
There have been many organizations which have helped her achieve this. TATA steel provided her with funding. She currently runs Shahid Chandrashekar Azad Khel Acamedy, a non profit school for handicapped under privileged children. Her dream is to conquer the highest peaks of all the continents and has already covered four of them.
Women truly can bear, heroes like her are rarely to be seen. Such will power, such perseverance and the ability to reach heights without complaining about any deformities. This is the life of an unsung hero!