9 English Chapter 2 Reach for Top

Chapter Notes and Summary
Chapter Overview
This chapter presents journey of two successful women, Santosh Yadav and Maria Sharapova. Both women show that with determination and hard work, one can overcome all obstacles and achieve success. Part-I It is about Santosh Yadav, a record holding mountaineer. Santosh was born in a very conservative society in Haryana where daughters had no freedom. But Santosh, with her will and dedication, took control of her life. As a result, she became first woman to climb Mt Everest twice.
Part I Santosh Yadav
Santosh’s Birth and Family Background
Santosh Yadav is first woman in world who has climbed Mt Everest twice. She was born in a society where a son was considered as a blessing but a daughter was not welcomed. Once, a holy man visited family to bless Santosh’s mother with a son but Santosh’s grandmother told him that they wanted a daughter. Santosh, a sister of five elder brothers, was born in a small village in Joniyawas of Rewari district in Haryana.
Non-Traditional Santosh
Santosh’s name means contentment or satisfaction but she was never satisfied with traditional life of her society. So, she started to live her life on her own terms. other girls of society wore traditional dresses while Santosh wore shorts. Santosh believed that if she would follow right path, other people around her would have to change.
Early Education
Santosh’s parents were rich landowners. They had capacity to send Santosh to best schools of Delhi. But while her brothers were educated properly in good schools, she was sent to local village school because of family custom. Santosh decided to fight that system, when time would come.
Education in Delhi and Jaipur
Santosh’s parents wanted to marry her at age of 16 because in her village, most of girls got married at this age. Santosh refused to marry and threatened her parents that she would not get married until she got proper education. Santosh left her home and got admission in a school in Delhi. Her parents initially refused to pay fees, but when she got them that she would work part time to pay fees and they agreed to pay for her education.
Santosh’s Interest in Climbing
Santosh passed her high school and got admission inMaharani college in Jaipur. She got a room in Kasturba Hostel which faced Aravalli Hills. She used to see some villagers going up hills and then disappearing after some time. One day, Santosh checked herself to know where climbers were disappearing. She found that those people were mountaineers. She asked them to be part of their team and climb mountains and they agreed. In this way, she got motivated to take interest in climbing.
Admission in a Mountaineering Institute
Santosh was a determined girl. She took admission in Nehru Institute of Mountaineering located in Uttarkashi. After completing her course in Jaipur, she directly left of Uttarkashi. Santosh wrote a letter to her father and apologised for taking admission in Uttarkashi without his permission.
Santosh as a Mountaineer
In Uttarkashi, Santosh went on an expedition every year. She developed climbing skills and an amazing immunity to cold and high altitude. She as a mountaineer had an iron will, physical endurance and mental toughness.
Climbing Mt. Everest
Santosh’s hard work and determination led her to climb Mt Everest, highest peak in world in 1992. She had climbed Mt. Everest at just 20 years of age. She became youngest female to climb Mt. Everest.
Santosh’s Humanity
Apart from her mountaineering skills, Santosh also impressed her seniors with her humanity. Her concern for others and her desire to work together as a teammade her a special person. During Everest mission in 1992, she provided special care to her teammate in South Col. Unfortunately, she could not save him. However, she saved another climber, Mohan Singh, by sharing her oxygen with him.
The Second Climb to Mt. Everest
After a year of her first success, Santosh, joined an Indo-Nepalese Women’s Expedition and again climbed Mt Everest. She became first women to climb Mt Everest twice. Her achievements brought glory to her and also gave India a unique place in mountaineering. Indian government recognised Santosh’s achievements and awarded her with Padma Shri.
The Happiest Moment of Santosh’s Life
Santosh felt happiest moment of her life when she climbed Mt. Everest. She described feeling as unreal. She felt proud when she unfurled Indian flag. Santosh Yadav is not only a mountaineer but she is also an environmentalist. She collected and brought down 500 kgs of garbage from Himalayas.

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