She was only 14, with a school bag to school. But the girl carried the pride of her family, her tribe, her nation and womanhood to the highest mountain peak in the world–Mount Everest. Young and grounded, with dreams to reach for the sky, Poorna is an inspiration to all.
With her biopic Poorna – Courage has no limit releasing on March 31, excited Poorna, now 17, spoke about her inspiration and conviction in an exclusive interview to thestatesman.com.
“Initially climbing the Everest wasn’t in the plan. It started with rock climbing training. The moment I got selected was the most exciting one. I had no idea about Mount Everest,” she said, adding the head of her school, coach Praveen Kumar, inspired her. "He gave this opportunity to me,” she said.
The 52-day-long expedition was completed on May 25, 2014. Excited to celebrate the success anniversary in a couple of months, Poorna expressed the motive behind it. She wanted to prove that girls are not less than boys and have the capability of doing anything and everything.
“As I studied in a Government school situated in a tribal area, I wanted the world to know that it doesn’t matter from where you are.” she said.
With high spirit, the courageous young girl said that she did not stop after climbing the Everest. She participated in the Mount Kilimanjaro Summit and completed it on August 15, 2016.
When asked about her future plans she said, “I want to become an IPS officer and help the poor and needy.”
She joined Rahul Bose, the director of the biopic Poorna – Courage has no limit right after she attempted the last exam for class 12 and shared that she wishes to further pursue bachelor’s degree.
She has not watched the film yet and wishes to watch it on Friday with her family in Hyderabad. She watched the trailer and said, “I was shocked and amazed.”
“I got excited and overwhelmed knowing that this story on screen is about me.”
Poorna shared her happiest and the scariest moments during the expedition.
“At the Everest base camp, I was part of a team with 15 members and other teams from various countries and states celebrated with music and food, like a little party together right before beginning the summit. This was the happiest moment.”
She told that advance base camp to camp 1 was the toughest climb for her. It was eight to nine hours long and extremely tiring as it was a steep slope.
“I found a dead body on my way to the Everest and that made my legs shiver. But I knew my dream was to reach the peak and get back home because my parents and friends were waiting for me back home. I wanted to prove that girls can do everything” she said and smiled.
“Even if you are not physically strong enough, mentally you have to be prepared.” She said when asked about the preparations for this adventure.
“I underwent eight months' long training. It included rock climbing, snow walking training and Ladakh winter expedition trek.” She added.
The young girl is not just energetic but is wise as she said: “Opportunity is something that we get rarely and once you get an opportunity you should never let it go in vain. Nothing is impossible. Keep trying till you succeed.”
While talking about Bollywood and films, she said that she doesn’t watch films much and neither is she interested to act in one.
“My favourite film will be Poorna. I’m waiting for it.”
Actor Rahul Bose plays the character of Poorna’s coach and the film is his directorial debut. Aditi Inamdar plays the role of Malavath Poorna, the 14 year-old girl from Nizamabad district, Telangana who climbed the Mount Everest.