In a major feat of mountaineering, 18-year-old Malvath Poorna from Telangana scaled Mt Vinson Massif, the highest mountain peak in Antarctica. Mt Vinson Massif is 4,987 metres above sea level.
With this, Poorna has become the first and youngest tribal woman in the world to set foot on six tallest mountain peaks in six continents. Poorna now aims to become the first and youngest tribal woman to scale the seven tallest summits located in seven continents.
Along with Mount Vinson Massif, Poorna has already scaled Mount Aconcagua (South America) and Mount Cartsnez (Oceania region) in 2019. Earlier in 2014, she created a record by scaling Mount Everest (Asia), followed by Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa in 2016 and Mount Elbrus in Europe in 2017.
Poorna hails from Pakala, a tiny village in Telangana's Nizamabad district, that is seated amidst deep forests, where she began by climbing small hills in the neighborhood. Her efforts have been backed by the Telangana government.
Speaking over a satellite phone soon after scaling the peak of Mount Vinson Massif with the Indian tri-color flag in hand, Poorna thanked Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and Social Welfare Minister Koppula Eshwar for backing underprivileged children in the state.
"I wouldn’t have achieved the mountaineering feats if not for the solid support of the CM," she said.
She also thanked Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) Secretary Dr RS Praveen Kumar and her coach Sekhar Babu Bachinepally of Transcend Adventures, Hyderabad, for their support and encouragement.
Responding to the latest feat, Dr RS Praveen Kumar said in a statement, "Poorna’s expeditions will remain engraved in golden letters in the annals of the world’s mountaineering history. Today, Poorna has become an accomplished world-class mountaineer and pride of Telangana and India."
Congrats, Poorna Malavath for scaling the peak of Mt Vinson of Antarctica on 26th December 2019. By conquering six highest peaks in the six continents in succession, you have once again proved that the gap between rich and poor is just an opportunity. pic.twitter.com/Gr4yHWbHPU— Dr. RS Praveen Kumar Swaero (@RSPraveenSwaero) December 30, 2019
Poorna is an undergraduate in the state's Social Welfare Residential College for women and is currently a fellow at the Minnesota State University as part of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program, USA.
Poorna is now gearing up to scale Mount Denali, North America’s highest mountain peak), to achieve her goal of scaling the seven tallest summits located in seven continents.
Taking to Facebook, Poorna wrote "I'm so excited to announce that I've successfully completed the Mount Vinson expedition. I've reached the summit on December 26, 2019 I must say that this expedition has been the most challenging of all! Like any mountain, even vinson has been challenging. But, it's not the physical aspect I'm talking about. The finances, logistics and preparation tested me to the core!"
Students from the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS), which mainly caters to underprivileged children in the state, are regularly in the news for their achievements in their respective fields.
After Poorna had first scaled Mt Everest, a film was also made based on the expedition.