Arunima Sinha is an Indian mountaineer and former national volleyball player who is famous for being the first female amputee to climb Mt Everest and Mount Vinson.
Arunima Singh was born as Sonu Sinha on 20 July 1988 (age 35 years; as of 2023) in the Akbarpur City of Ambedkar Nagar district in Uttar Pradesh. She did her schooling from Government Girls Inter College, Akbarpur, Uttar Pradesh.
She has done a course in mountaineering from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering in Uttarkashi. She has also received an honorary doctorate from the University of Strathclyde.
Her Zodiac/Sun sign is Cancer.
Height: 5′ 2″
Weight: 60 kg
Eye Colour: Black
Hair Colour: Black
Family, Caste & Husband
She was born into a lower-middle-class Kayastha Family. She is one of the four children of her parents. She has a elder brother named Om Prakash, who is an ex- CISF Personnel.
Not much is known about her first wedding. She married for the second time to Gaurav Singh, who is a Paralympian.
Arunima Sinha is a national level Volleyball and Football player.
After the tragedy that took one of her legs away, Arunima decided to scale the Mount Everest and took a basic course of mountaineering from Jawaharlal Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi. After being trained under the supervision of Bachendri Pal, the first Indian women to climb to the peak of Everest; she became the first female amputee in the world to reach the summit of Mount Everest on 21 May 2013.
She resolute again to climb the highest peak of all the seven continents. She has climbed the Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Mount Elbrus in Europe, Mount Kosciuszko in Australia and Mount Aconcagua in South America. After climbing the seventh peak, Mount Vinson in Antarctica, Arunima became the first female amputee in the world to reach the summit.
- The Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Uttar Pradesh police came out with their own versions of the incident claiming that the accident was a suicide attempt. RPF even claimed that she must have been travelling without the ticket and might have jumped off in an effort to save herself. However, Allahabad High Court ordered Indian Railways to pay a compensation of Rs. 500,000 to Arunima.
- A controversy brewed on whether she was a national level player or not. A senior SAI official said that based on certificates provided by Arunima’s parent, it can be said that Arunima played at the national level but whether she had the status of a national player on a defined level, was yet to be figured out by department and ministry. She would be getting a job only on the basis of that. Later, she was given job by CISF and Indian Railways.
- Padma Shri in 2015
- Yash Bharti Award by the Government of Uttar Pradesh
- Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award in 2016
- Aspire Young Achiever Award 2012
- Salam India Gallantry Award by IndiaTV in 2013
- Mountaineer: Bachendri Pal
- Revolutionary: Chandra Shekhar Azad
- Since her childhood, Arunima was an active athlete and participated in various sports activities in her school.
- Arunima likes gardening.
- Her favourite quote is by Swami Vivekananda,
Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached.”
- On 12 April 2011, Arunima Sinha set off from Lucknow to Delhi. She took Padmavati Express train to take Examination to join CISF. The robbers pushed her out of the train, wanting to snatch her bag and her gold chain. Recalling the tragedy, she said,
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.”
- Post-incident, Arunima was rushed to the hospital where she was diagnosed with serious leg and pelvic injuries. To save her life, doctors had to amputate her leg.
- Later, she was brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for further treatment where she was provided with a prosthetic leg free of cost by Delhi-based Indian company.
- She was offered ₹ 25,000 by the Indian Sports Ministry.
- Following national outrage, the Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Ajay Maken announced an additional ₹ 200,000 (US$2,800) compensation as medical relief, together with a recommendation for a job in the CISF.
- Recollecting the memories of her family members and people visiting her in her hospital bed she says,
I was a Bechari to everybody who came to see me at AIIMS. But I didn’t feel like an invalid even for a second. I knew that I could never be the player that I was, so I wanted to do something different — so different that everybody would say that it would be impossible.”
- Even Shahnaz Husain visited her and gave beauty sessions in routine.
- Indian Railways also offered her a job.
- She made up her mind about climbing the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest; lying with her amputated leg in her hospital bed.
- Her brother Om Prakash left his job to encourage her to climb Mount Everest.
- In 2011, she called Bachendri Pal, the first Indian women to climb Mount Everest to help her with the resolution she had made.
- On reaching the Hillary Step, her guide said her to get back. Her oxygen was finishing and he worried that she might not be able to reach the top of the mountain. She fought the guide and started to go alone. Her guide had to follow her at the end.
- To get prepared for climbing the peak of Everest, she first climbed Island Peak (6150 m) in Sagarmatha National Park of the Himalayas of eastern Nepal.
- It took her 52 days to reach the summits of Mount Everest. On reaching there, she wrote a small message thanking almighty and pressed it in the snow. Recalling the event, she says,
It was my tribute to Shankara Bhagawan and Swami Vivekananda who has been an inspiration throughout my life.”
- She has written the book “Born Again On The Mountains,” which was launched by Prime Minister of India “Narendra Modi” in 2014.
- She also does charitable works through Arunima foundation, which seeks to empower women, disable people and health, social and economic improvement of poorer communities.
- She is even registered in Limca Book Of Records.
- She is the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat mission in Uttar Pradesh, General Thimayya National Academy of Adventure, Department of Youth Empowerment & Sports, Government of Karnataka, and many other brands.
- On her visit to Mahakal temple (at Ujjain), Arunima was stopped from entering the temple and was mocked at her disability. Following the incident, she tweeted,
I am very sorry to tell you that I felt greater pain in visiting Mahakal temple (at Ujjain) than scaling the Everest. My disability was mocked at there (at Mahakal).”
- In 2019, reportedly Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt is roped in to play the role of Arunima Sinha in her Biopic where the story is slated to based on her book, “Born Again On The Mountains: A Story Of Losing Everything And Finding It Back.”