Hyderabad: With a vision to make India a superpower in the world of para sports, Aditya Mehta Foundation (AMF), with support from Border Security Force, has been actively working towards creating awareness and aid to athletes with disabilities. Started in the year 2013, AMF’s main aim is to help athletes across India with disabilities. As a part of awareness program for the unique initiative AMF has set yet another challenge of creating a world record by scaling Mount Everest in year 2020.
The team of climbers included 6 Para-Athletes with different levels of disability who went through intense training flagged off on 10th August from Gangotri and 4 of them scaled Mt. Bhageerathi (21365 ft) on 24th August 2019, Uttarakhand, where the base camp was at Nandanvan 14655 ft (altitude, and the training took place all the way up to camp 1 at 17552 ft altitude. The team has completed their training by climbing Mt.Bhagirathi II up to 18000ft as there was heavy snowfall beyond, in association with Aditya Mehta foundation and BSF Institute of Adventure And Advance training -BIAAT for PARA-MOUTAINEERING. By 2020 we plan to scout 12 Para-Athletes with different levels of disability to summit Mt. Everest.
The team was headed by 2 IC Manoj Painuli- Leader and Deputy Commandant B.S.Rawat is the deputy leader of this expedition. The team consisted of 6 para-mountaineers including 2 team AMF members Arshad and Aryavardhan – both above knee amputees from Telangana. “It’s a very difficult task for an above knee amputee to walk on uneven surfaces without buckling. Even in daily life on smooth roads, an above knee amputee ends up buckling a lot. It is amazing what Aryavardhan and Arshad have done along with the rest of the paramountaineers”
Says Aditya Mehta, an above knee amputee himself, Founder of AMF. Seventeen-year-old, Aryavardhan, is the youngest above knee amputee in the world to scale Mt. Bhagirathi. Aryavardhan had also lost his father at a very young age and is brought up by his mother a, strong single parent who has fought back from cancer.
The team also consisted of 4 BSF para-athletes: Malay Haldar and Athuno Lotha with Gunshot legs, Amar Kumar Santra who is visually impaired and Additional CT Ajay who has right thigh muscle loss.
“I have never walked more than 3km in my life…with this mountaineering expedition I could conquer 16 km non- stop of stiff uphill terrain with my prosthetic limb. I feel great!,” says Arshad, an above-knee amputee from Telangana, “The BSF team was amazing the helped us at every point in arriving at the divine place on Mt.
Bhagirathi 2 at 18000ft. I never expected to see such places in my life. I thank AMF for giving me this opportunity. I’m now mentally prepared to scale Mt. Everest.” Says 17, year old above knee amputee, Aryavardhan from Telangana who also scaled the peak.
Weather conditions were very tough for the mountaineers. They experienced heavy rain, hail and later snowfall at heights of 18,000ft and above. They saw moraines, boulders, rivers, steep uphills and negotiating difficult landscapes and crevasses for trekking. They had only a two-day window to summit due to weather conditions. They trained in ice craft, snow craft and moraine walk, glacier walk. They carried their own rucksacks with basic amenities and got acquainted with climbing gear and shoes. The more they walked more their lung capacity increased and concentrated on building balancing muscles.
“Both the boys, Arshad and Aryavardhan were very enthusiastic and forthcoming in their effort to climb despite being above knee amputees and first timers. Initially they did 9km and then later they did upto 16km on a single day in snow and ice. They have a very bright future in para-mountaineering and can surely summit Mt. Everest by 2020 with training,” said Deputy Commandant B.S. Rawat.