She is all set to climb a peak she never heard of before!
Pooja Mehra, a young 18 year old NCC cadet is one of the ten cadets that was selected to climb Mt. Everest. Pooja is the daughter of a farmer from Badeshwar district, Uttarakhand.
This class 12 student said in an interview that she had never really heard of Mt. Everest before. The first time she set eyes on a glacier was when she went to Darjeeling for a training. Her seniors at the NCC told her about Mt. Everest and about it being the highest peak in the world. This was just about a year ago.
She is all set to head to Delhi for training on March 1st. All the cadets will undergo a rigorous one month training before setting off on the final expedition. Pooja is hopeful of reaching the top in this first attempt itself.
Several professional mountaineers don’t make it to the peak in the first attempt.
Pooja believes that all these years of working in the fields and helping her mother with household chores makes her physically stronger. She is the only girl in the family besides her mother and spends the entire day on the fields, milking cows, washing them, cutting grass. It doesn’t stop there because Pooja actively helps her mother with household work too.
Pooja wants to join the Indian army later on.
In January she went to Siachen for another training. She has also climbed Trishul peak last October. When asked about the lessons she has learnt through all these training expeditions Pooja says, “If you have the strength, you can overcome any situation."
Her father Chandan Singh Mehra is supportive and proud of her and doesn’t want her to get married soon. He wants her to be independent, both financially and emotionally. Her father doubles up as a bus driver to add to the family income which put together is a little less than 9000 rupees a month.
Pooja has two brothers, the elder of which is in the Army Medical Corps, while the younger one is still in school.
Kudos to this young woman who is all set and raring to reach the top, literally.