Recipient of the ‘Nari Shakti Award 2016,’ Sunita is also the brand ambassador of Haryana Government for the ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. In an interview to UNI on the International Women's Day' on Thursday, Sunita shared her dreams and experiences. Scaling mountains became Sunita's quest while she was studying in school at her grandmother's place in Kishorpura, a village in Alwar district of Rajasthan. As the school was on a hilly terrain, trekking and later scaling mountains became a practice.
Coming from Gujjar community categorised under Other Backward Classes, she waged a long struggle to make her dream come true. " I would not have achieved what I have, had it not been for my parents ", she said. To realise her dream of climbing the highest peak in the world, Sunita's father, an inspector in the Border Security Force, even took a loan to bear the huge expenses.
Though she had an exposure to hilly places, Sunita was not aware of the future in mountaineering till she came to know about its courses. Crossing financial barriers and restrictions as a woman from a rural place, she completed the basic and advanced mountaineering courses in Manali and Darjeeling. These were followed by more expeditions, as she climbed five peaks in Uttarkashi, Manali and Darjeeling.Sunita was selected when she forwarded her profile to the authorities in Nepal for the Mount Everest expedition.“I want to send a message to all, especially to the girls, that you should dare to dream and have the courage to fulfill your dreams as each one of you has the potential,' she says.
Sunita recently undertook another mission. This time with a noble cause of women empowerment, in which she did a 5,000-km solo cycling journey pan-India.Covering 5,000 km in 46 days from Kanyakumari to Kharadunga on her bicycle, she created awareness about ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ (Save, educate the girl child) campaign and the evils of child marriage, highlighting the need to support education of girls and the right to equal opportunity for them.As she cycled her way through small pastoral hamlets, Sunita met women from different parts of the country and discussed problems they faced.
"After this journey, I realised that India is the repository of 'unity in diversity.' And I am thrilled to know that how helpful people in our country are, I am glad and admire the unity of our country", she said.Sunita added,'One message for the youth is to never give up. Everything is possible. I request parents to trust your children especially girls, set them free and give them freedom. And if you really want to contribute to the society, plant a tree on your special day. Give back something to environment.'(UNI)