13 Y/O Girl Climbs Mt. Everest, Sets New Record, & Is Awesome!


Most typical 13 year-olds don’t care so much about setting a new world record. They just want to get through school and listen to their favorite music. Not so for 13 year old Malavath Purna from Andhra Pradesh, India.

On Saturday, May 24, 2014, she became the youngest woman in the world to climb the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest. Don’t worry, she wasn’t alone. Aside from all the Sherpa help she would’ve been getting, she was accompanied by a 16 year old classmate Sadhanapalli Anand Kumar. So there’s two teenage girls who can never be accused of acting like “typical teens” by their parents.

Both girls are part of the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Education society, and they are from poor families. Malavath is the daughter of a tribal farm laborer, and Sadhanapalli is a member of India’s lowest Dalit caste previously known as “untouchables”. Those statistics right there prove that even in a country like India where according to custom and religion there is no hope or help for those from poor backgrounds, the younger generation are finding a way to push through prejudice to achieve something monumental.

After all, we’re based on the opposite side of the world and we are certainly talking about these girls!

Mohammed Ansari, the technical coordinator for the team said they started the climb from the Chinese/Tibetan side of the mountain.

“She was strong and determined to climb Everest. We are very proud,” Ansari said. “She wanted to take the risk. She said that her community will gain recognition if they succeed,” he said.

The pair also won applause from India’s new prime minister, Narendra Modi, who tweeted:


Most climbers attempt the 8,848-metre (29,029-foot) peak from the Nepalese side — the easiest and most popular route — but authorities in Kathmandu do not grant climbing licences for Everest to anyone under 16.

Mingma Sherpa, a Nepalese guide who has summited all 14 of the world’s peaks over 8,000 metres, called Poorna’s ascent a rare accomplishment.

“It is an achievement for someone so young to scale Everest. It is not easy to achieve such a record,” Sherpa told AFP.

Considering all the awful news coming out of India the past couple of years about gang rapes, sexual assault, legislation which doesn’t protect women from attacks, and more, it is a small but significant ray of light to see young women stepping up and not allowing an oppressive male-dominated society dictate how their lives should play out.

Well done to Malavath Purna for becoming a beacon of hope for other poor teens in your community, and an inspiration to other girls around the world that no matter what your circumstance, there is no mountain (literally!) too big that you can’t climb.



  1. What’s even more inspiring about this extraordinary girl is her focus on education. Even though she comes from a modest background, Poorna told news channel NDTV in an interview last November: “I will climb Mount Everest and after I am back, I am going to be an IPS officer.” And now that she has accomplished one goal, she is clear about her plans for the future. When asked by HuffPost about what is next for her, she said, “I am going back to school. I can’t neglect my education, without education we are nothing – most of our community people are living in miserable conditions due to lack of education. These are life lessons from my parents.”

    Girls like Poorna are ambitious despite their modest backgrounds and know the value of education. We at En-Light a Girl Child support girls like Poorna so that they can make us all proud with their extraordinary achievements.

    Visit us at http://enlightagirlchild.com/ to learn more about our outreach programs in Bihar and Rajasthan.

    Like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/enlightgirlchild to keep up with our initiatives and share your ideas about the ways in which we can make India a better place for girls.

  2. Pingback: Meet The Indian Twins Setting Mountain-Top Records All In The Name Of Gender Equality - GirlTalkHQ

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