Jharkhand's Premlata Agarwal today became the oldest Indian woman to scale the Mount Everest at the age of 45.
Premlata, who is being supported by Tata Steel, is also the first person from Jharkhand to go an expedition to the Mount Everest.
Premlata's preparation for the final summit push began on May 6, where she went from the base camp (18000ft) to C2 (Camp 2 at 22,000 ft) and then she climbed to C3 (Camp 3 at 23,000ft where she had to go on artificial oxygen).
She then reached C4 (Camp 4, South Col 26000 ft) yesterday, and took rest before beginning her final climb towards the summit.
Before going for the expedition, Premlata also undertook a climbing exercise to Island Peak (20,300 ft) in the Everest Region to acclimatise herself to the conditions.
A mother of two daughters, one of whom is married, Premlata started her actual climb from the base camp on April 17.
Hailing Premlata's feat, Tata Steel's Vice President of Corporate Services, Sanjiv Paul, said, "This is a proud moment for all of us. I extend my heartiest congratulations to Premlata for having achieved this feat and especially to Bachendri Pal for having trained and supported her all the way."
Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda hailed Agarwal saying it was really proud moment for Jharkhand as she became the first person from the state to achieve the feat.
The state government would felicitate her in a grand manner after her return to the city, Munda told PTI.
Her previous expeditions included Island Peak in Nepal (20600 ft) in 2004, Karakoram Pass (18300 ft) and Mt. Stok Kangri (20150 ft) in 2006, the first women’s Thar Desert expedition in 2007.
She was also part of the expedition team that climbed 19300 ft high Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing (volcanic) mountain in the world, in Tanzania in 2008.
Premlata's husband, Vimal Agarwal, who is editor of a local English daily, told PTI that he has no word to express his happiness. "I am very proud and feel elated over Premlata’s achievement."
"I am expecting Premlata to arrive here in 10 days and by the time, both my daughters would be here. Then we will celebrate," he said.
Agarwal's elder daughter is married and stays in Bangalore while the younger one studies in Bhubaneswar.
Bachendri Pal, currently leading a group of people from Corporate houses for outdoor camp in Uttarkashi, said Premlata has proved that age was no bar for people willing to take up adventure sports.
Premlata has really made the country as well as Jharkhand proud as she is the oldest Indian woman to climb the Everest, Pal said.
Certainly, the achievement would send a message to women and should be a lesson for the corporate sector, she said appealing more corporate houses to come forward to support such programmes particularly aimed to empower women in the country.
Premlata Oldest Indian Woman to Scale Mt Everest
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