8yo Indian scales the mighty peak, Mount Elbrus. Nothing called age for this tuff sport?
"There are many talented children out there, who, if provided the opportunity, can achieve what they want to and hope that such an opportunity is provided to all of them."
When a Grade III boy said these words, it is surprising. But that's what it was. The boy, who became the youngest from Andhra Pradesh, India, to scale Mount Elbrus, has shown that age has nothing to do with accomplishing something. If the mind wants to do something, the body automatically co-operates and jumps into action. You don't need to wait for the right age to become physically fit and well-built to do mammoth physical tasks. Just make up your mind and your body is ready.
The Little Feet That Trained To Be Strong:
Bhuvan Jai belongs to Kurnool of Andhra Pradesh, and is studying in Grade 3. His father Gandham Chandrudu was a well-known IAS officer and was the District Collector of Anantapur. Bhuvan used to go to the ground along with his father and the child would be physically very active. The sports coach of Rural Development Trust, Shankariah observed the child's energy and suggested that it should be channelled in a positive way. The coach took personal interest in Jai and introduced him to mountain climbing. That was how Jai started mountaineering. Shankariah, himself a professional mountaineer who scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in the past. He also trained many young people in mountaineering.
The Formal Training Regime:
Since February 2021, Jai has been training at the Adventure Sports Academy in Gandikota, in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Along with knowing the technicalities of the sport, it is also important that the child understands the mountains - the terrain, the climatic conditions, the response of the body at higher altitudes etc. He should learn to withstand extreme temperatures and should be able to manage the fatigue and dizzyness at high altitudes. To train him in all these, Jai was taken to Leh-Ladakh in the Himalayas. While the team was wondering how his body would respond to the snow-capped mountains, little Jai was excited and active. Going forward, Shekar Babu, who also coached Poorna Malavath, the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest at the age of 13, trained Bhuvan Jai. Finally, Jai was all set for an expedition.
Setting On To The Expedition:
The team, who comprised of coach Shankaraiah from Anantapur, Anminsh Bhupathi Raju Varma from Visakhapatnam and Naveen Mallesh from Bengalur, left for Russia on September 11, 2021 and reached the base camp of Mount Elbrus the next day. Mount Elbrus which is located in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria is a peak that rises 18,510 feet from the sea level.
Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes. The western summit is 5,642 m (18,510 ft) tall and the eastern summit is 5,621 m (18,442 ft) tall. Scaling Mt. Elbrus is undoubtedly a challenging task owing to its high altitude and unpredictable weather. Jai climbed the 5,642 tall mountain and on 18th September, 2021, he hoisted the Indian tricolour and also unfurled a banner containing a portrait of B.R. Ambedkar and the Preamble to the Indian Constitution.
Talking about the challenges faced by the boy, his parents said, "During the journey, the challenging aspect was to climb while wearing spike boots, which weighed more than three kilograms, added to three layers of thick clothing to protect him from the cold". The team had also taken an extra oxygen cylinder just to be on the safer side, but Bhuvan managed to climb without taking any additional oxygen support. Jai said that his parents and coaches were of great support and help all through his journey. He also said that there are many talented children out there, who, if supported, would shine brighter.
Kudos to the mettle of the young child. His determination and commitment to the training inspires many people out here. We wish him great future.
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