Arunima Sinha is an Indian mountain climber and sportswoman. She is a mountaineer who is the World’s first female amputee to scale Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Elbrus, Mount Kosciusko, Mount Aconcagua, Carstensz Pyramid, and Mount Vinson, she is also a seven-time Indian volleyball player. She was born as Sonu Sinha into a lower-middle-class Kayastha Family in the Ambedkar Nagar District of Uttar Pradesh. Since her childhood, Arunima was an active athlete. She used to participate in various sports activities in her school.
On 12 April 2011, when Arunima boarded the Padmavati Express train at Lucknow for Delhi to take an examination to join the CISF, some hooligans entered the general coach in which Arunima was traveling, and they started robbing the passengers, they even tried to snatch a necklace from Arunima. When Arunima resisted, they pushed her off the moving train in Bareilly. Recalling the incident, Arunima says- “I resisted and they pushed me out of the train. I could not move. I remember seeing a train coming towards me. I tried getting up. By then, the train had run over my leg. I don’t remember anything after that.” Following the incident, she got a serious leg and pelvic injuries and was admitted to the AIIMS, where she lost her leg after doctors amputated it to save her life. A Delhi-based Indian company offered her a prosthetic leg free of cost. The Indian Sports Ministry announced a compensation of ₹25,000 which attracted national outrage. Following the national outrage, the Ministry announced an additional ₹200,000 compensation as medical relief. After her recovery, Arunima was also offered a job by the CISF and the Indian Railways.
Arunima’s treatment went on for four months at the AIIMS. It was there that Arunima resolved to do something big in her life and the first thing that came to her mind was to scale Mount Everest. While still being treated at the AIIMS, Arunima’s incident had become national news. Noted beautician Shahnaz Husain met her in the AIIMS and started giving her beauty sessions in a routine manner. To fulfill her resolution of climbing Mount Everest, she did the basic mountaineering course from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi. In 2011, she contacted Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest, by telephone. In 2012, Arunima was trained under Bachendri Pal at the Uttarkashi camp of the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF). To get prepared for her ascent of Everest, Arunima climbed Island Peak (6150 meters). On 11 April 2013 at 10:00 am, she reached the summit of Island Peak. On 31 March 2013, Arunima started her voyage to Mount Everest. On 21 May 2013 at 10:55 am, Arunima Sinha, reached the Summit of Mount Everest; becoming the world’s first female amputee to scale Everest. It took 52 days to her to reach the summit. On the summit of Mount Everest, Arunima wrote a small message thanking the Almighty on a wrapped cloth and pressed it in the snow. Recalling the event, Arunima says- “It was my tribute to Shankara Bhagawan, and Swami Vivekananda who has been an inspiration throughout my life.”
After her Everest climb, she was honored by the then Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav, who gave her two cheques for an amount of ₹25 lakh. After her Everest feat, Arunima resolved to scale all the seven highest peaks in all seven continents. By 2014, Arunima had covered six peaks- Mt. Elburs of Russia (Europe) 5,642 m (18,510 ft), Prominence 4,741 m (15,554 ft) and Kilimanjaro of Tanzania (Africa) 5,895 m (19,341 ft) and Prominence 5,885 m (19,308 ft). On Jan 4, 2019, she climbed the seventh peak on Antarctica and became the world’s first female amputee to climb Mount Vinson. Arunima Sinha has also written a book titled “Born Again on The Mountain,” which was launched by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi in December 2014.
Arunima Sinha does charity works through Arunima Foundation. The Arunima Foundation seeks to empower women, disabled people and generally improve the health and social and economic situation for poorer communities. Limca World Record has also recognized Arunima’s inspiring feat. Various popular media houses and magazines have covered the inspiring story of Arunima Sinha including People Magazine. In March 2019, the famous Bollywood actress, Alia Bhatt, was reportedly roped in to play Arunima Sinha’s character in a biopic, which is slated to be based on Arunima’s book- Born Again On The Mountain: A Story of Losing Everything And Finding It Back.