Hyderabad, May 25:
A 13-year-old girl from Andhra Pradesh Sunday became the youngest female climber to scale Mount Everest.
Malavath Purna along with 16-year-old Sadhanapalli Anand achieved the historic feat, according to information reaching social welfare department here. After a 52-day-long expedition, the duo pitched the national flag and the picture of B.R. Ambedkar, the architect of India’s constitution, atop the world’s highest peak.
What made their feat extraordinary is the fact that they both come from rural and poor backgrounds and are students of educational institutions run by the government.
While Purna comes from Tadwai village of Nizamabad district and is a class 9 student at Gurukul Pathshala, a residential school under the social welfare department, Anand is studying in class 11 at the social welfare college in Khammam district. Both the districts are in Telangana region.
The girl’s parents are agricultural labourers in a small village in Nizamabad district while Anand’s father works as a mechanic.
The Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Educational Society had last year selected them from among 150 children who were initially chosen for adventure sports.
The duo were among a group of 20 sent to Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling for training. They were among nine students sent on an expedition to the Sino-Indian border.
Purna and Anand, were sent to the Everest Expedition in April in view of their high degree of toughness and endurance, said an official.
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has congratulated the Telugu students for their historic feat. He said the students brought glory to the Telugu community.