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Indian girl, 13, becomes youngest to climb Everest

NEW DELHI (AP) - The 13-year-old daughter of poor Indian farmers who became the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest said Wednesday that she "shed joyful tears" at the summit after a grueling climb across difficult terrain and personal fear.

Nepal requires climbers to be at least 16 years old to scale its peaks, but Malavath Poorna said she and a team of Nepalese guides climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) mountain on May 25 from the northern side in Tibet. There are no age restrictions in China.

"It was very difficult. Every step is a dangerous step," a smiling Poorna told reporters in New Delhi, describing steep slopes, exposed rocks, deep crevasses and extreme cold that went below minus 40 degrees Celsius (minus 40 Fahrenheit).

At 3,300 meters (10,830 feet), she said she saw "six dead bodies. I was shocked. Oh my god I got some fear."

But she remembered her training and regained her confidence.

"When I reached the top of Everest, very good experience. I feel great and proud, and I shed joyful tears" as she looked around and saw "mighty mountains and morning sunlight," she said in English, waving her hands expressively as she spoke.

Indian Teen Is Youngest Girl to Climb Everest

The climb was verified by the China Tibet Mountaineering Association in Lhasa, making Malavath the youngest girl to climb Everest. American Jordan Romero, from Big Bear, California, became the youngest boy at age 13 to reach the summit - also from the Tibetan side - in 2010.

Malavath said her parents, impoverished farmers from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, encouraged her during eight months of training despite the fact that she had never before been on a mountain. Her family are dalits, once known as "untouchables," at the bottom of India's ancient caste system.

The expedition was sponsored by the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institution Society as part of its program to encourage and help underprivileged students in India.

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silveroo5 June 04 2014 at 1:14 PM

3 Cheers!!! Good on You!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
MICHAEL June 04 2014 at 1:50 PM

Sounds like she belongs at the "Top" af ANY society! Congatulations to a very special youg lady.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
RohiniKMattu June 04 2014 at 1:37 PM

I do not know what "dalit" means in Hindi. Mahatma Gandhi called them "Harijan", Hari's people (or God's people). Gandhi is not a popular name with most Indians these days, but because of Gandhi, Indians can exercise their choice, today.

Malavath Poorna is an Indian girl that has shown the grit to accomplish whatever she chooses. Gandhi would have been proud of her. Reading the news reports about the treatment of young girls in India, it is difficult to asses how Indians feel about Malavath's accomplishments, but Americans will be proud of her.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
nanskii June 04 2014 at 1:16 PM

Awesome, Congratulations on a job well done. =)

Flag Reply +3 rate up
riognach June 04 2014 at 1:46 PM

You go, girl! And never, never give up!! You are an outstanding role model for other young ladies. Thank you.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
crazy ray June 04 2014 at 3:58 PM

Hey, lady, it's been done before. Why risk your life for something so stupid? Because you wanna make a name for yourself in a country full of misogynists? You'd be better off using your money to go to any other country where they don't routinely rape and murder their women.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
pnlalaji crazy ray June 05 2014 at 5:52 AM

Ray you are crazy! Celebrate on her fantastic achievments! What 'something else' did you do when you were 13? Are you in a bashing mood? (You want to invite her to a US college or US military where women are so much abused?)

Flag Reply 0 rate up
teeveequeen June 04 2014 at 4:25 PM

wouldn't underprivileged poor Indian farmers prefer FOOD and essentials ...

rather than a sponsored expedition???

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
pepsi326100 teeveequeen June 05 2014 at 12:30 AM

would you deny your child an adventurer like this. she has just a statement - I AM WOMAN AND SEE WHAT I HAVE AND WILL CONTINUE TO ACCOMPLISH. Congratulations to Malavath Poorna. Gandhi would have been proud, but as an American, I too am proud of her.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
zap49 June 04 2014 at 2:25 PM

She is doing young people, especially females, a service that makes all fathers of daughters proud worldwide.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
erwin.scheck June 04 2014 at 5:56 PM

That's awesome. =)

Flag Reply +2 rate up
drodri8527 June 04 2014 at 3:26 PM

Here are all you people congratulating this 13yr old girl for accomplishing this tremendous feat, which it is. If she had died, how many of you would've said, how stupid are these parents for allowing this 13yr old to do something so dangerous? I read a story once about a young boy that went skydiving with his dad, the unthinkable happened and everybody was ready to crucify the dad. The only difference here is that the girl was successful.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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