Conquering Mounts is probably the last thing a 9-year-old would dream. But Dhanshree Mehta has achieved this feat and created history.
She scaled Mt Elbrus, one of the Seven Summits on 17 June 2017, 1:30 (Russian time). And with this, she has now become the youngest mountaineer from India to reach the summit. India not only cheered on for Dhanshree’s latest feat, her new record but also for her support of the campaign ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’.
Dhanshree and her 13-year-old brother Janam started the journey on the 10 June with their parents. Both the kids love adventure and picked up the challenge for a social cause. The family had decided to take up this challenge and trained themselves enough so that they could achieve their goal. Their training included cardio, climbing techniques, breathing exercises. The brother-sister duo had to juggle a stringent school schedule and find time for a rigorous training session which they did without any complaints.
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“I am very happy. Can’t express it in words how it feels to be on top of one of the highest mountains. We had a wonderful experience. The best part is that my family was with me throughout. The weather was perilous, but I didn’t feel unsafe even for a second. I am thankful to my country and my family for supporting me,” says Dhanshree. She added that her mother is her inspiration and said,
“I have grown up watching her [mother] climb Drang Drung Glacier, Island Peak, Kongma La Pass, Base Camp Everest, Kala Patthar, Chadar Frozen River Track, and Mount Kilimanjaro. I want to be like her.”
“Our training and preparations really helped. What I enjoyed is the journey. Yes, being on top is an amazing feeling but the climb was a fun experience in itself. I didn’t know how capable we were until we faced the storms while climbing. We saw no sunlight for 3 days” her brother Janam explained.
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“We reached the goal with lot of learning, different experiences and challenges. Most importantly we as a family together passed all challenges and are now stepping down towards the base camp. The climb was not easy with a heavy storm and weather throwing new challenge at every step. At one point we were stuck so badly that we as parents decided to back out but the kids were so determined and firm that they wanted to go ahead and complete the task.” Said Dr Sarika Mehta who is a psychologist and the founder of Biking Queens (Surat).
With this achievement, the Mehtas have set up new standards for others to follow. They are now headed to Moscow as the kids will be awarded by the Russian Ministry and the Indian Embassy.
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