Arunima Sinha, who lost her left leg two years ago after being thrown off a moving train, says cricketer Yuvraj Singh has inspired her to make an attempt to scale the highest peak in the world -- the Mount Everest.
The fateful train journey ruined the career of a budding volleyball player who wanted to represent India. But, the steely resolve of the 26-year-old girl from Uttar Pradesh could not diminish her interest in sport.
This time, though, its mountaineering. "The four months I spent at the AIIMS were like a bad dream. I have moved on. I have lot of unfulfilled dreams, out of which one is to climb the Everest. Hopefully, I will be able to achieve this feat," Arunima said, adding that she had decided to climb the mountain when she was still being treated at the hospital.
On an artificial limb now, Arunima says she has drawn inspiration from Yuvraj Singh, besides her family members.
"When I was training for this expedition, I used to think if Yuvraj Singh can battle a dangerous disease like cancer and play for India again, even I can climb the Everest being an amputee," she said.
Being an amputee, Arunima recognises the hardships that await her during the expedition and has been briefed by Mark Inglis, who is the only double amputee in the world to have climbed Mount Everest.
"I asked him about the problems I could face in the scaling of the peak. He was very kind in advising me and boosting my confidence," she said.
Arunima has undergone arduous training for over a year under the guidance of Bachendri Pal, who is the first Indian woman to have conquered the Everest.
"I have never seen a girl with so much determination. She is very focused towards her target and her mental strength is exemplary. I think she has all the qualities of being a successful mountaineer," Bachendri, who heads the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation (TSAF), said.
Susen Mahato, hailing from Saraikela Kharsawan district of Jharkhand will accompany Arunima.