When 16-year old young mountaineer Shivangi took birth, her family members were not pleased, however, her mother stood by her. Her story is an inspiration to girls around the country
After climbing Mount Everest, 16-year old Shivangi Pathak from Hisar (Haryana) has recently scaled Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak and tallest free-standing mountain in the world. But Shivangi has no plans to rest on her laurels. “My target is to complete the Seven Summits, the highest mountain of each of the seven continents before I turn 18. Only a few people have accomplished it, and no Indian has ever done it. So I have decided to accomplish it and make my country proud. I am not going to stop now,” she says.
Shivangi Pathak, 16-year old from Hisar who sclaed Mt Everest. Shivangi is an ardent follower of Sri Ganesh
The seven summits are Mount Everest (Asia), Aconcagua (South America, Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antartica), Mount Elbrus (Europe), Mt Mckinley (North America), and Carstensz Pyramid (Oceania).
However, the story of this young achiever could not have been same without the courage, care and love of her mother. While telling about Shivangi, her mother Aarti Pathak shared, “She has been very energetic since her childhood days. She was not afraid of anyone while his brother is a little introvert and silent. I was so worried about her future. I always focused on giving her energy in a positive direction. So when we decided on mountaineering, I thought this is the only thing which will give her a proper direction”.
‘Family members were not happy when Shivani took birth’
“When Shivangi took birth, everybody was sad and informed me about her with upset face “beti hui hai”. That day I decided and promised her father that our daughter would make us and others proud and today not only we, but everybody also is proud of her”, said Shivangi’s mother.
‘It’s time to change the attitude about girls’ Shivangi reveals that even though her family – especially her father and grandmother – were initially against her mountaineering, but later her mother convinced everybody. “It is the result of my mother dedication and support; I am here today”. It’s time to change the attitude about girls. The society needs to get rid of its conservative thought while Haryana is no longer as conservative about girls’ participating in sports”, she said.
“She was very ambitious from her childhood days. One day, she asked Mummy, Maa, is my name not on Google? Everyone laughed on her, and later mummy informed her ‘beta, Google only shows the name of those who have achieved something special in their life’. Shivangi instantly replied, ‘Mummy! One day Google will show my name.’” — Raghav Pathak, Shivangi’s brother
Shivangi took up the massive task to spread the message that women could overcome every possible obstacle to achieve their goals. In a society that always looks down on women, this young girl proved that women are no less than their male counterparts.
“It is time to properly follow the slogan “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao aur Beti Khilao”. You will find girls with short hair, wearing shorts, going for morning runs and participating in different sports. This was not the case a few years ago. Parents should show their faith in their daughters also. Earlier there was a saying that “Padhoge likhoge to banoge Nawaab, and kheloge Khudoge to banoge kharab”, it’s a myth now and we can say now “Kheloge khudoge to bhi banoge Nawaab”,” she said confidently.
An ardent devotee of Ganpati ji
When asked about what kept her motivated, apart from her family and coach, Shivangi gave all credit to Sri Ganesh ji for all her achievements. She said, “My Gannu Mamu (referring to an idol of Sri Ganesh) keeps me motivated in the time of trouble. I get a lot of energy and positive vibes from Ganesh ji. I accompany my Gannu Mamu wherever I go. My mummy had gifted me this by calling him a ‘Vighanharta’. Even when I climb the mountains, he stays with me. After reaching the summit, I place Gannu Mamu at the peak and then unfurl the Tricolour”, Shivani said excitedly.
“I believe that whenever I got stuck in an odd situation during climbing or anywhere, he came for rescue”, she said with a firm belief.
A Message for All
It’s a tough job to manage study and mountaineering both, but Shivangi believes that study is also an important part. After climbing the world’s highest peak, Shivangi now wants to focus on her studies and do the mountaineering alongside. "I have passed my intermediate exams with 70 per cent marks and now pursuing my graduation. Without education, there will be no use of the counted expeditions which I make. So, I will continue my studies along with mountaineering," said the young mountaineer.
“When Shivangi took birth, everybody was sad and informed me about her with upset face ‘beti hui hai’. That day I decided and promised her father that our daughter would make us and others proud and today not only we, but everybody also is proud of her.” — Aarti Pathak, Shivangi’s Mother
“Children should focus on outdoor games instead of wasting time in mobile and computer games. Outdoor games are much needed for fitness and will prevent you from diseases like obesity and many more”, she insisted. Lastly, she requested the Government to put Mountaineering in the sports list, so that more teenagers can come forward to do it.