Meet Arunima Sinha, the mountaineer whose determination can only be gauged as higher than Mount Everest. Her hair-raising story is not just a story of determination of the highest level but one of a sublime level which may serve as an inspiration for all and yet may be impossible to emulate.
Determination must have been in her blood as Arunima was born in the family of an Army engineer on 20 July 1989. I guess her early life must have been one of hardships and struggles as she lost her father at a very young age, and the family consisted of four children. Being a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, Arunima had her schooling in the Government Girls’ Inter College of her hometown. Her hobbies were gardening, sketching, yoga, travelling and listening to music. She also liked football, while distinguishing herself as a national level volleyball player. She has participated in the Nationals, seven times.
Aspiring to join one of the para-military forces, on 12 April 2011, Arunima Sinha boarded the Padmavati Express on her way to Delhi to appear for her CISF examination. Little did she then know that her life was about to take a turn for something that neither she nor anyone could have ever foreseen. A gang of robbers tried to rob the passengers of the General Compartment in which Arunima was travelling. Arunima resisted when the hooligans tried to snatch her necklace but she was outnumbered and was pushed out of the train. She fell on the rail tracks and was unable to move and all that she remembers is that another train on the adjoining track ran over her left leg. She recalls: “I resisted the robbers, but they pushed me out of the train. I could not move. I only remember another train coming towards me. I tried getting up. But by then, the train had run over my leg. I don’t remember anything after that.”
Gp Capt Achchyut Kumar has been associated with The Teenager Today for more than 50 years as a reader and contributor on varied topics. Having worked in the Indian Air Force and with Forbes & Company Limited, he is now a lawyer in Nainital High Court.