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True Grit: Meet 5 Indian women who have stood tall against Mt Everest

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By Ila Garg

Mountaineering has always been popular in India. As much as the activity is thrilling, it has a huge amount of risk involved. What is astonishing is that even after keeping their life at stake, how many of these mountaineers actually get the recognition that they deserve!

In an attempt to bring forth some of them, NewsGram features five Indian female mountaineers befitting to the definition of ‘courage’. These mountaineers include Krushnaa Patil, Malavath Poorna, Santosh Yadav, Arunima Sinha, and Premlata Agarwal. These climbers have displayed extraordinary determination and dauntless valour to turn their dreams into reality.
Krushnaa PatilKrushnaa Patil is one such Indian mountaineer who started climbing at the age of 19. Consequently, she became the pioneer woman from Maharashtra, and also the second youngest Indian woman to successfully scale Mount Everest in 2009. Patil is a go-getter and her ambitions led her to be a part of several other expeditions which included an international expedition as well. Cycling, rafting, rowing, paragliding, and horse riding are some of her interest areas.

In her pursuit for action, she became the youngest mountaineer to attempt the Seven Summits Challenge but it was later abandoned pertaining to several technical errors. In Patil’s opinion, sports in India require self-assertion. You need to create opportunities for yourself in order to progress.

“My mother is the strongest woman I know. She was more enthusiastic about my climbing than probably I was! Her strength gives me confidence.” Patil told NewsGram, recently.

A motivMalavath Poorna

ated person can accomplish wonders. Raised in poverty, 13-year-old Malavath Poorna scaled Mt Everest on May 25, 2014. She successfully tackled the challenges posed in front of her by the cold weather, discomfort of the attire, and her young age.

Her accomplishment is now an inspiration for all young girls in the country. Hailing from a small tribal village, she learned to climb at her school. For a daughter of a farmer, reaching the height of 29,029 feet seemed next to impossible but her enthusiasm and zeal for life were her constant companions. It was her determination that made her a record breaker at such a tender age.

ThSantosh Yadave sheer love for mountains gave Santosh Yadav the requisite encouragement to scale the Mount Everest twice in one year, leaving everyone in awe. She has also left a mark as the first woman to successfully reach Mount Everest from Kangshung Face. Being a woman, her journey was not a cakewalk at all. The dreams that she cherished in her heart became her only support against the hostility of her family.

 

Arunima SinhaEverest attracts a lot of mountaineers from all across the world. In the quest to reach on top, even the amputees are now keenly participating. Arunima Sinha, a former national-level volleyball player lost her leg when she was thrown from a moving train. She later went on to become the first female amputee to scale the heights. It was her unflinching desire that kept her excelling the Mount Everest even with a disability. This created a great stir among the denizens who started seeing her with respect.

While we havPremlata Agarwale records by the young women, at 48, Premlata Agarwal became the oldest woman to dare to scale the Everest. Trained and mentored by Bechendri Pal, the first Indian woman to successfully scale the Mount Everest in 1984, Premlata despite her age showed unparalleled courage and set an example.

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Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)