“ To be poor is one setback. To be a girl is another. Then to be adivasi is a third challenge. A 13-year-old adivasi girl might be able to climb the Everest if she were from the Northeast and grown up in a gritty, mountainous region. But Telengana is as flat as my forehead. Poorna is astonishing, single-minded and determined. She thought of only two things when she reached the summit- “Sir”, her mentor, RS Praveen Kumar, and all the tribal girls who could now hope to reach great heights. In the film, she is being played by Aditi Inamdar, also from Telengana.”The film is already out in the theaters, yet aren't you curious to know all about this little girl with unimaginable feats?
“I was scared. How to climb this rock?”It was at Bonghir that she was trained for Rock Climbing, Rappelling, and Bouldering. Her role model RS Praveen Kumar first noticed Poorna at this training session. Poorna was trained at Bhongir by Shekhar Babu Bachinepally who is one from the first individual climbers to climb Mount Everest in 2007. Next up in her Journey, she was trained at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI), Darjeeling. It was a 20 day special course where she learnt to walk on real snow. She learnt ice craft, snow craft and rock craft. A new world opened up to her in Darjeeling when she saw snow for the first time in her life and that is her happiest memory from the training. As she says in one of her talks,
“ This is the first time I saw ice as snow. It felt like heaven. I was the most happiest.”Poorna and other 19 students became the youngest team to summit the Renock peak in the Kanchenjunga Range during this training. The trainers saw Poorna’s iron strength and decided to motivate her for the Everest Expedition. Of the 20 students from the HMI 5 were selected and taken to Ladakh. Poorna showed exemplary grit in the minus 30 degrees temperature in Ladakh. In Ladakh the villagers leave their houses and shift temporarily because of the winter weather. When they saw Poorna and her team arrive at Ladakh in such weather conditions, they were shocked. As Poorna says, In the next 15 days Poorna learnt how to adjust in cold weather, how to survive with the gear and everything that is needed to learn. After the Ladakh training, two students were selected for the expedition, Anand Kumar and Poorna Malavath. This is when her real training for the Everest Expedition started.
“ Sir you had said the students from our school have no reverse gear. No Reverse Gear. I will not come back. I will reach my goal and then come back. I have to summit Mt. Everest.”When Poorna reached the notorious death zone, she came across a dead body for the first time and exactly that's when her oxygen finished too. In an interview with Mint she recounts her experience saying,
“ It was 5.45 in the morning when I saw the first dead body. Just before that, I had suffered a spell of dizziness, because my oxygen cylinder had run out. I had wanted to sit, but there was no place; the only way was up. Once the oxygen was replaced, I immediately felt better but the sight of the dead body made me shiver, and for the first time I thought, what if something similar happens to me?”All said and done Poorna showed extraordinary strength and on 25 May 2014 summited the peak becoming the youngest person to do so then. Image Source: BoomLive.com Poorna is a role model for every girl in this country. She is an example of strength & courage for the marginalized in this country and she’s a winner. As the name of the film says Poorna: Courage has no limits, Yes! Poorna’s courage has no limits.
AdventureN wishes the film and Rahul Bose all the luck for it’s success. We hope the world feels proud and knows who Poorna is.