Haryana cop Anita Kundu, who scaled Mt Everest thrice, kept her dream alive against odds : The Tribune India

Haryana cop Anita Kundu, who scaled Mt Everest thrice, kept her dream alive against odds : The Tribune India


Chandigarh, December 18th

She lost her father at the tender age of 12 and sold milk with her mother to earn and support her two sisters and one brother. But even in those moments of struggle, Anita Kundu never gave up on her dream of becoming a mountaineer.

Haryana Police Inspector has realized her dream. She has climbed Mount Everest three times and is looking forward to another expedition next year.

Recalling the challenges she faced after her father’s death, Kundu told PTI that he died in 2001 when she was 12 years old.

“He wanted to see me as a top athlete,” said the police inspector, who climbed Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world, three times between 2013 and 2019.

“With a little support from my mother, I had to take care of my two sisters and brother. It wasn’t easy coming out of the tragedy that befell the family, but my father’s words gave me courage,” she said.

“My father always said that you have to fight in every situation and accept it as a challenge. These words gave me the strength to continue,” said Kundu, a resident of Faridpur in Hisar district of Haryana.

She said that in addition to going to school, she initially sold milk.

“I had to work hard from 4 a.m. until late at night,” recalls Kundu, who comes from a farming family.

From an early age she wanted to do something different. Over time, her interest in adventure sports developed, although her father wanted her to be a boxer.

In 2008, Kundu joined the police force and expressed her desire to become a mountaineer to her senior officers.

She enrolled in advanced mountaineering courses and trained to survive in adverse conditions at high altitudes even without food and water.

“I climbed Mount Everest from the Nepalese side for the first time in 2013. In 2015 I wanted to climb the summit again, but had to turn back halfway due to an earthquake. In 2017, I climbed Everest from the Chinese side and climbed Everest again in 2019 as an expedition leader,” said the 33-year-old inspector.

Kundu, who received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award two years ago, said she has scaled peaks on other continents as well. She received the award in recognition of her unmatched dedication to land adventures.

Kundu thanked their sponsor SIS Group and their founder and group chairman RK Sinha for their support. “They played an important role in realizing my dream of climbing the highest peaks in the world,” she said.

The Karnal-based inspector is also a motivational speaker and regularly participates in programs in schools, colleges and universities to inspire youth.

She said things are changing in upstate Haryana, where girls didn’t get the encouragement to live their dreams until a few years ago.

“Things are slowly changing now and people’s mindset has changed,” Kundu said.

“Until a few years ago, people in my own village would ask me what I could achieve. But now girls are encouraged and every family in my village wants their daughters to be like Anita Kundu,” she added.

Asked whether many Haryana athletes, including former hockey player Sandeep Singh and wrestlers Babita Phogat and Yogeshwar Dutt, are venturing into politics and whether they have such plans, Kundu didn’t rule out the possibility.

President Droupadi Murmu, who was in Haryana for a two-day visit last month, praised the state affiliates for presenting the best examples of women’s empowerment across the country.

Murmu had also interacted with some female athletes, including Kundu, and learned about their life experiences.

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