“COVID 19/20” is more than one year old now, and its devastating impact is still being deeply felt by people from all walks of life, and at all levels of human life. Millions have lost their lives, and more have lost their jobs, their only means of sustaining themselves. Many business enterprises had to be closed down, as their products have no or few takers, leaving their owners clueless as to when and how they can pick up the threads and begin again!
But the human spirit refuses to be cowed down before tragedies and calamities of any magnitude, though we cannot perhaps prevent them from happening to us, or from leaving their marks on our bodies and minds. History unfolds before us hundreds of such stories of human courage, determination and bravery.
The Teenager Today brings you, this month, one such unparalleled story of a courageous young girl (born on July 20, 1989), Arunima Sinha from Uttar Pradesh, who has shown the world that most tragedies can be turned into blessings, and disabilities, inborn or otherwise, can be turned into abilities. All what is needed, she says, is “a strong will-power and the determination to go on despite the obstacles we face on our way.”
It was April 11, 2011. Arunima, then a volleyball player of national stature, was travelling from Lucknow to New Delhi by Padmavati Express for an interview called by the Indian Army. Halfway through the journey, robbers entered the train and attacked the passengers. Their eyes fell on the necklace Arunima wore, and they tried to snatch it from her. She resisted, but they overpowered her and pushed her out of the running train. She fell onto the adjacent track, and before she could even breathe, an incoming train ran over her and crushed her left leg. The doctors had to amputate it to save her life, and gave her a set of crutches to walk on for life, which ended her dreams of an Army job and a possible volleyball captaincy!
But Arunima was not prepared to give up. Remaining in her hospital bed she began dreaming of climbing Everest, the highest Himalayan peak. Once out of the hospital, much against the advice of her doctors, she put aside her crutches and began to walk free in pursuance of her new dream, which came true on May 12, 2013, when she reached Everest, becoming the first Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest!
There is so much more to the Arunima story; do turn to page 12, and convince yourself that nothing is impossible for the one with a steely determination and indomitable courage!
Alfonso Elengikal, SSP, has the unique distinction of being the longest-serving editor of The Teenager Today, an office he held for over 17 years. He is the bestselling author of You Can Make A Difference, You Are Destined For The Skies, Let The Real You Stand Up! and Discover The Hero Within You published by Better Yourself Books.