Braveheart Arunima Sinha becomes first amputee to scale Everest

Arunima Sinha, a former national level volleyball player who lost her right leg after being thrown off a moving train by a group of vicious chain-snatchers, created history today by becoming the first amputee to scale Mount Everest.

Sinha, 25, reached the summit of the highest peak in the world at 10.55 am, as a member of the Eco Everest Expedition sponsored by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), the tourism ministry of Nepal announced.

Sinha, a resident of Ambedkar Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, was pushed out of the Padmawati Express when resisting a chain-snatching attempt while travelling from Lucknow to Delhi on 12 April 2011.

She was hit by a passing train, and suffered serious leg and pelvic injuries. Doctors had no choice but to amputate her left leg below the knee.

In a TV interview before leaving on her expedition, Sinha recollected how she had decided to get her life back right in the hospital when she was recovering.

"At that time everyone was worried for me. I then realised I had to do something in my life so that people stop looking at me with pity. I read about people scaling Mt Everest. I spoke to my elder brother and my coach who only encouraged me," she said.

Arunima joined the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) camp in Uttarkashi last year, where she was trained by Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale Everest.

Sinha also recounted how cricketer Yuvraj Singh had inspired her. "He sent me a cheque for Rs1 lakh and also spoke to me when I was recovering. I learnt subsequently that he was diagnosed with cancer. When I saw him back in the Indian team I was inspired and said to myself that if he can get back to the team, I could do something with my life."