(Last Updated on : 18/05/2013)
Premalata Agarwal is the oldest woman to climb Mount. Everst An enviable height of determination and a small tip from dad today made Premlata Agarwal the oldest Indian woman to ever conquer the Everest.
Premalata Agarwal, is the 45-year-old Jugsalai homemaker and mother of two daughters, who had been a part of a 22-member eco-Everest expedition team. She was the one to become the first woman from Jharkhand
to scale the 29,029ft peak of Mount Everest.
Career of Premlata Agarwal
Premlata's sojourn mountaineering started at the age of 37, after the brief spell of time as she took an active part in a climbing competition in Jamshedpur
. The adventure turned out to be quite advantageous for her. It was not very late until she discovered her dormant passion for climbing. Subsequently she was trained and mentored by Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to summit Mount Everest in 1984.
Basically a homemaker, she had proved her grit and mettle as an adventure junkie on several occasions. She participated in Tata Steel Adventure Foundation expeditions to Island Peak in Nepal in 2004, the Karakoram Pass
(18,300 ft) and Mt Stok Kangri (20,150ft) in 2006, the First Indian Women's Thar Desert
Expedition in 2007, which involved a 40-day camel safari from Bhuj
to the Wagaha border in Punjab
. Her achievements have already found her a place in the Limca Book of Records.
The multinational trekking team led by Steven Sherpa Dawa dared an overnight trek to climb the summit. The Indian contingent, besides Premlata, comprised Sunita Singh, Narendar Singh, Pawan Grewal, Sushma and Vikas Kaushik. Ace climbers Rodrigo Raineri of Brazil and David Liano of Mexico accompanied them.
The summit climb was tentatively scheduled for May 13, but heavy snowfall and gale winds forced the team to abandon plans near Camp 4 (26,000ft) a day earlier and take the descent route to base camp (18,000ft). But the daredevils didn't give up. Premlata perhaps remembered an oft-repeated lesson from her businessman father Ramawtar Garg. On May 16, the team once again trekked to Camp 2 (22,000ft) and then to Camp 3 (23,000ft) a day later. Camp 4 was conquered on May 18. A day's rest and the mountain maiden, who had to opt for artificial oxygen at Camp 3 during their earlier quest on May 7, was ready to romance the Everest at sunrise.
Contribution of Premlata Agarwal
Premlata has attained a tremendous feat. It is a big step towards the grand vision of empowering women. She always had great faith and confidence in her skills as a mountaineer. Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to scale the Everest and Tata Steel's chief of adventure programmes.
In March, Premlata, Sunita and Narendra along with their surefooted Sherpas had flown to Lukla for a pre-Everest climb on Island Peak (20,600 ft) as part of a mandatory acclimatisation programme.
Personal life of Premlata Agarwal
Premlata is a native of Jharkhand whose father Ramawtar Garg is a businessman. Currently she is a housewife who lives in Jugsalai town, of Jamshedpur in East Singhbhum district in the state. She is married to Vimal Agarwal, a senior journalist. The couple have two daughters, one of whom is married. She is also the first woman from the Marwari community to scale Everest. She is one of the recipients of Padma Shri Awards
by the Government of India in 2013.