Amazing Indian women adventurers who dared to achieve some of the most daring feats in the world
In a society, where men are always believed to be tougher than women, women have been fighting this gender based stereotype. It is still very common to see where girls are encouraged to be polite, while boys are not only allowed but expected to be boisterous and rowdy. There are certain professions where very few women are to be seen. Even in this 21st century, world’s women population is under-represented in almost every field.
We hardly think of women when it comes to the adventure; because it again goes by the stereotypical belief that it’s a man’s thing!! But, many women have beaten this age-old stereotype. And most importantly, there are Indian women, who have achieved success in the field of adventuring, despite many struggles and obstacles, both real and ideological. These Indian women are not only an inspiration to other women, but their magnificent struggle stories are worth inspiring for every human being. Let us know the stories of these extra-ordinary Indian women adventurers, who created history by climbing some of the highest peaks and have achieved some of the most daring feats.
Bachendri Pal, a name known to each and everyone! Bachendri Pal is a mountaineer who made history by becoming the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1984. It was at the age of twelve when she had decided to be a mountaineer, after scaling a 13,123 ft mountain on a school picnic. As a mountaineer Bachendri Pal is the proud owner of many awards, including the Padmashree and the Arjuna awards, which she received in the years 1985 and 1986 respectively.
Arati Saha became the first Indian woman to swim across the English Channel in the year 1959. She also set a new record by swimming 42 miles in 16 hours 20 minutes, becoming the first and fastest Asian woman to swim across the English Channel. She won 22 state level swimming competitions, introducing a new All India record. But this amazing and courageous lady died of jaundice in 1994. Indian Government issued a stamp in her memory after her death. Even though Arati Saha is no more with us, still she continued to be an inspiration for many young swimmers.
Arunima Sinha, the woman who deserves all the praise and recognition we can give her. She lost a leg after she was being thrown from a moving train, but she overcame every odd and became first female amputee to climb Mount Everest. Arunima Sinha was the national volleyball player. Arunima is not only an inspiration for the women, but also for the every human being, who give up easily in life.
Reena Kaushal Dharmashaktu
Reena Kaushal Dharmashaktu became the first Indian woman to ski all the way to the South Pole. Reena represented India in the Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition consisted of 8 women from the commonwealth countries. Even at the -30°C, they continued skiing for over 900 km across Antarctica to reach the geographic South Pole. Reena arrived at the South Pole at the midnight of 30th of December, 2009.
Bhakti Sharma is an Indian open swimmer, who set a world record after swimming 1.4 miles in 52 minutes in the freezing waters of the Antarctic Ocean, and that too at a temperature of 1°C. She became the youngest and the first Asian girl to achieve this success. Bhakti has swum across four oceans, eight channels and seas, which is also a world record. She is the recipient of the Tenzing Norgay National Award.
At the age of 19, Krushnaa Patil became the youngest woman to successfully climb Mount Everest in May 2009. She is also the first Indian woman to have climbed the highest peaks in Antarctica, South America and Europe. Krushnaa Patil had already climbed six of the highest peaks in the seven continents, known as the seven summits. She is also an enthusiastic cyclist. Krushnaa was a part of a cycling rally with WANI (Women’s Adventure Network of India) from Kolkata to Kanyakumari (3000km).
Archana Sardana is the first Indian civilian BASE jumper and skydiver, who has made over 300 skydives, 60 underwater dives and several BASE dives all over the world. Her passion for these extreme sports developed later in her life, since she had a much protected childhood. Her first exposure to any kind of physical activity was a walkathon she participated, with her husband, and she never looked back since then. Archana Sardana is now a certified skydiver, bungee jumper, BASE jumper, mountaineer and scuba diver.
Each one of these women has braved adversity, discrimination, and many obstacles before they could achieve their dreams. They are the real inspiration for all the human kind. And most importantly, they are the finest examples to defy every area, where it’s considered ‘only a man can do it.’