Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Arunima Sinha - A True Champion's Inspiring Tale, A Breath Of Fresh Air

After the tales of human greed, weakness and mediocrity over the past few days comes a story that's like a breath of fresh air. Arunima Sinha, all of 25 years old, a young volleyball champion with big dreams in her mind, scaled Mount Everest. So what's the big deal one may ask. The big deal is that Arunima scaled the Everest on a prosthetic leg.

Hmmm, so? Check out the story.

It was in 2011 that the young national volleyball player was thrown out of a train by chain snatching criminals when she was travelling from Lucknow to Delhi. Hit by a passing train she was badly injured on the leg and pelvis regions. (How these incidents happen with such regularity and how they are tolerated is something I can never understand. Who throws people out of moving trains and what happens to them? Do they get caught?) Anyway, her leg was so badly injured that doctors had to amputate it and that put paid to her dreams. Or so one would have thought with a sympathetic cluck. Most would have resigned to their fate and wallowed in self-pity, some might even have chosen to opt out of life. Not Arunima.

She could not stand the pity in the eyes of those around her. She decided to do something that would be big enough which would give her a new identity that brought her respect and not pity. And so she conjured up a new dream - to scale the Mount Everest. To be the first Indian amputee to scale the Everest. With the help of the wonderful Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale the Everest, and the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF) she trained and scaled a peak that not many of us with all our limbs intact can even 'dream' of.

Today Arunima stands up high among the list of true champions, having proven to herself and the world that nothing can stop you if you make up your mind, that everything is possible if there is honest effort. She gives hope and courage to all those who wish to believe that life could smile at them too. Life does, if you first choose to smile at it first. Wonderful stuff Arunima and I hope to read much more of this brave girl.

And when I see able bodied, fully educated, talented and pampered people around indulging in self-pity, doubt, pity, blame, criticism and not able to have the courage to 'see' what they have, I can only hope that Arunima's feat opens their eyes to the true champion spirit. That there is much one can achieve if one wants to.

I cannot but wonder at this. The newspaper that wishes social change and has celebrity endorsements for its social change movement places the spineless IPL match fixing scenario on the first page. Arunima's effort shows up deep inside on page 8. What are we celebrating? What are you promoting? I know, we all know the answer - we are celebrating human frailty, mediocrity and all that we can point at someone else and feel self-righteous about it ourselves. It's time we celebrated actions and not promises. Champions instead of brands that have been built by projecting partial truth (and hiding much). The true indicator as with Arunima of a real champion are the actions. Not the promises and the hype.


Srikanth Bh said...

Very inspiring:

Check this...

Unknown said...

Dear Hari,

I am delighted to read your inspiring and thought provoking blog on bravegheart Arunima sinha.

As I read it, I thought it would be great to share another similar achievement this year, with its own unique odds, when my 21 yrs old daughters scaled Everest on 19May, becoming first ever twin sisters in the world to achieve this feat. Since then and before, they have made several national and world records in mountaineering..more are likely soon. This despite having not a single funding or sponsorship support from anywhere so far. Their dream of scaling tallest peaks in all 7 continents for another world record are now in jeopardy due to lack of corporate support!
You need to just type 'Tashi Nungshi Twin sisters Everest' to get whole range of coverage in media. What's special here is that they are Haryanavi girls, now residing in Dehradun past 5 years (from a state with worst sex ratio and gender violence).
I wonder if you would find theirs' an inspiring story for our young people, especially our girls and women?
Virender Singh Malik