Grandma always said that men live to strive and strive only when they get inspired. Inspiration can come up in any form in any shape. Sometimes it might knock at your door as your best friend, make you sleep tight as your mother, make you read all day like a book or a story of a struggle and its struggler who found the light even in the darkest corner. My story is quite simultaneous to all these. It runs from the threshold of a hut in a remote village to the world's highest point.
“In order to achieve success, you must believe that you are not inferior to anyone,” said Poorna Malavath to the students of Sri Prakash Vidyaniketan, Kapuluppada. Poorna is the youngest girl in the world to scale Mount Everest. She was in Visakhapatnam for the launch of ‘Poorna’, a biography written by Aparna Thota.
The book captures Poorna’s journey from her home town Pakala, a village in Nizamabad district of Telangana, to Everest. The nineteen-year-old is currently a first-year Bachelor of Arts student at Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS).
Road to top
Devidas Malavath, her father encouraged her to join TSWREIS, Tadwai when she was 10-years-old. He wanted Poorna to get a better education and experience a life beyond her village. “Stepping out of my village gave me opportunities I didn’t even dream of. In my new school, I felt like a newborn butterfly emerging from her cocoon,” she said. Poorna was selected for a mountain climbing workshop. There, she was trained by Shekhar Babu, a professional mountaineer. In 2014, she scaled the Mount Everest. She had just turned 13. “The snow-clad Himalayan ranges were breathtaking. I could see all the camps as well!” she exclaims. But the young girl also saw things that were unsettling and still give her the shivers. They were dead bodies. “Initially, I thought it was someone from our team, but soon realized it was a dead body,” she said.
RS Praveen Kumar, secretary of TSWREIS, also played a crucial role in grooming Poorna. Praveen, a former Indian Police Services officer, took a sabbatical in 2011 to complete a Masters in public administration from Harvard University. He returned a year later and requested a transfer to TSWREIS so that he could work at the grassroots level. His presence and involvement in the school motivated Poorna greatly and she says, “I want to grow up and become an IPS Officer like Praveen sir.”
Since she climbed Everest, the number of applications for admission at TSWREIS increased to 60,000 from 8,700 students in a year. Poorna continues to visit schools across India to encourage students to follow their dream.
“I want to share my story with as many people as possible because if I can do it, they can as well,” she says. Poorna has also climbed Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and most recently Aconcagua in February. She looks forward to summiting Mount Denali, Vinson Massif, and Kosciuszko, and is secure in the knowledge that she has plenty of time to do it. “I start training a month before an expedition. I run at least 20 kilometers each day and follow a protein-rich diet,” she says.
Such is her determination to step up the highest boundaries and cross the globe wearing the highest heels. Here whom does can we say is Poorna's inspiration. She says it is all that happened to her throughout her lifetime that created or rather manufacture such a strong self within her. The self which dreamt to make one day her dreams to come true. Even the whole world would say what can a small village girl do. This is to prove before all of those that what really can do. What really calls for is a catalyst. The catalyst to make one move even on the toughest road is an inspiration. The term is too small to prove its relevance in someone's life...