“My reason for climbing Mount Everest was to prove girls can achieve anything.”
Malavath Poorna (also known as Malavath north, Purna Malavath, and Poorna Malavath) was born on 10 June 2000. She is an Indian mountaineer and the youngest girl in the world to climb Mount Everest at the age of 13 years and 11 months. She climbed the highest peak of Mount Everest. Poorna belongs to a very poor family as both of her parents are farm labourers in Pakala village in the Telangana State of India who earn less than Rs. 5,000 per month. Her talent was spotted by Dr. R.S Praveen Kumar, an IPS officer who noted her for the first time during a climbing training in Bhongir, Telangana. Under the able guidance of coach Shekhar Babu who trained her for 8 months she was selected from 10 students from 300 wellness schools and was sent to the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. As a part of her preparation, she scaled Mount Renock at 17,000 feet in the Kangchenjunga range in the Himalayas and the mountains around Ladakh at -35degree Celsius. On May 25, 2014, she along with S. Anand Kumar, a 16-year-old boy and a group of Sherpa’s scaled the highest peak of Mount Everest after an expedition of 52 days from the Tibetan side because the Nepalese government does not allow climbers under the age of 16.
After the expedition she got the opportunity to meet Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi where they received certificates. The Chief Minister of Telangana Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR) gave 25 lakhs each, five acres of farmland each, and a two-bedroom house for each family with the necessary help for their education. Later she scaled Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in Russia and in Europe on 27th July 2017 at around 10.00hrs (IST). A movie based in her life named Poorna: Courage has no limit was released in 2017 which was directed by Rahul Bose.
Her goal is to scale the seven tallest summits located on seven continents and till date she has climbed six tallest mountain peaks across six continents making her the first and youngest tribal woman in the world. At the age of 18 she had set foot on the six tallest mountain peaks across six continents including Mt Everest (Asia, 2014), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Africa, 2016), Mt. Elbrus (Europe, 2017), Mt. Aconcagua (South America, 2019), Mt. Carstensz (Oceania, 2019), and Mt. Vinson Massif (Antarctica, 2019).
An inspiration for many young girls Poorna is currently pursuing an undergraduate course at the Minnesota State University, USA, as a fellow student of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program.