16-year old Shivangi Pathak has scaled Mount Everest, Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa) and Mt Elbrus (Europe). The achievements of this young girl from a small town represent the vibrancy and energy of ‘Young India’
At the age of 16 when most of the teenagers do not have any idea about what they want from their life and its whereabouts, Shivangi Pathak from Hisar (Haryana), broke all the records by becoming the youngest Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest from the Nepal side. Shivangi’s achievement has been recognised across the country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also congratulated the 16-year-old for her achievement in his famous radio show ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
16-year-old Shivangi Pathak posing with the National Flag on Mount Everest
‘Arunima Sinha is my inspiration’
When she was 15, the Hisar girl saw a biopic about the amputee mountaineer, Arunima Sinha, the first Indian amputee to scale the 29,035-feet-tall peak Mount Everest. The movie inspired her, and from that moment everything changed in Shivangi’s life.
“After I came down from Mount Everest and reached the base camp, I had no idea that I had achieved something special. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by the media persons in Nepal; then I come to know that I had done something extraordinary.”
“From the beginning, I wanted to do something different, but I was clueless, but Arunima didi showed me the path”, Shivangi said. Recalling the incident, when her mother Aarti Pathak forcefully took her to a seminar on fitness in Hisar, Shivangi said, “One day my mother asked me to accompany her in a seminar, I simply denied. I was in no mood to go there, but my mother convinced me by telling that I would get delicious food there. And in the love of food, I went to that place.”
Shivangi at Mount Kilimanjaro
“I went to the seminar and watched a biopic on Arunima Sinha there. At that time, I was carefree, and after watching the biopic I started thinking, if she can make it with one leg then I also can do it,” Shivangi said.
“After the seminar, Mummy said jokingly “Tu Bhi Mount Everest Pe Chadh Ja (You should also climb on Mount Everest)”. I ignored it for a moment. While watching the film, I felt that I was climbing Mount Everest, but I did not share that feeling with anyone. The main problem in achieving my dream lay in the fact that I knew nothing about mountaineering. The very night everybody in the family was sleeping but I could not. I did not have a phone then, so I stole my brother’s phone and searched on the internet for what I needed to become a mountaineer. That’s how I found out about mountaineering school and what I needed to do for it”, Shivangi enthusiastically narrated the story.
Next morning Shivangi told her mother that she wanted to be a mountaineer and from the moment everything changed in her life. “I thank my mother, if she had not taken me to the seminar that day, I would not have been able to achieve this”, Shivangi said.
‘My life has changed after mounting Mt Everest’
“After I came down from Mount Everest and reached the base camp, I had no idea that I had achieved something special. Suddenly I found myself surrounded by the media persons in Nepal; then I come to know that I had done something extraordinary”, Shivangi said with a smile. “Later Modiji also congratulated me on Twitter and then in his radio show ‘Mann ki Bat’”, Shivangi said.
“Now I go to schools for motivational lecture. It gives me a different confidence when I address students of my age group; It’s a different feeling that I cannot explain,” Shivani said with pride.
The young mountaineer along with a few other climbers had reached Kathmandu in April and began her journey to the Everest Base Camp on April 6, 2018. The 16-year-old mountaineer had obtained courses in both primary and advance mountaineering from the Jawahar Institute of Mountain. Before climbing the Everest, she had also participated in different high-altitude training camps in Kashmir’s glaciers for preparations.
‘Lost 20 Kg and chopped off my long hair’
It is evident for a mountaineer to deal with mental and physical challenges. Shivangi was no exception. Being the laadli (dear) daughter of her mother, she was over-weight. But her dedication made her break all the barriers.
“I gave up my eating habits and started having a balanced diet that helped me in shedding around 20 kg. Even to focus on training I had to chop off my long hair because my coach Sir had denied to train me if I had kept long hair”, she narrated.