ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Untold Poorna Story

The achievement of 13-year-old Malavath Poorna, a tribal girl from Telengana, in summitting Mount Everest last May is a pointer to the power of pro-poor policies.

The conquest of the Everest still remains the supreme achievement for mountaineers all over the world. The mountain no longer poses the unforgiving threat it did eight decades ago, when its mists swallowed up the gallant British mountaineer George Mallory, but it still reserves its right to take life at will. Earlier this May it killed expert Sherpas with a swift avalanche shaking the confidence of all mountaineers and forcing some to abandon their quest for the summit. However, early in the morning of Sunday, 25 May, two children from disadvantaged communities of the new state of Telengana made it courageously to the top. One was an 18-year-old dalit boy, Anand Kumar, from Khammam, and the other a 13-year-old Lambada tribal girl, Malavath Poorna, from Nizamabad.

Poorna, who became the youngest female to conquer Everest, had run on ahead of her companion to reach the summit by six in the morning! One recollects with amazement Edmund Hillary’s account of the first successful climb 61 years ago, the tortured step-by-step ascent to the crest of the great mountain.

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