At barely 13, Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru is well on her way to accomplishing an extraordinary mission
Hyderabad-based mountaineer and adventure sport enthusiast, Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru will soon set a unique record by becoming the youngest girl to accomplish an astonishing feat – scaling the highest peaks on all seven continents
Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, Jaahnavi launched her ‘Mission 7 Summit’ on 2 October 2014, scaling Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa (5,895m high) and Europe’s Mt Elbrus (5,642m high) in July 2015.
In December 2015, Jaahnavi scaled all peaks of the Snowy Mountains in a period of just four days, completing the ‘Aussie 10 Peaks’ challenge, which formed the third leg of her ambitious project. Jaahnavi is planning to complete her global mission in 2016 by scaling Mt. Aconcagua (South America), Mt. Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Mt. Everest (Asia) and Mt. Denali (North America).
In December, the Sydney Telugu Association organised a felicitation ceremony for the young mountaineer at Curry Lovers restaurant, Epping. Speaking on the occasion, event organiser Madhu Byreddy said, “Congratulations, Himaputri, for being a shining icon and an inspiration to young people around the world.” The well-attended event drew a number of youngsters, who were eager to learn all about Jaahnavi’s career trajectory and unusual life experiences.
Jaahnavi’s inspiration has been her father, Dr Krishna Rao, a medical practitioner, mountaineer, martial arts instructor, motivational speaker and life coach, whom she has accompanied on many treks since she was barely 10 months old.
“Having been exposed to the harsh beauty of the hilly regions, I fell in love with it all – the tough climatic conditions, the freezing cold, rough roads and strenuous climbs. It all became a part of my personality, and thus was born my passion to conquer the heights. I am proud to be the youngest girl in the world and the first Asian to have scaled Kilimanjaro,” she told Indian Link. “I think I kind of grew up with this whole aura around me that was healthy, tough, adventurous and more than anything, extremely passionate.” Her first taste of high altitudes came at the age of eight when she went to Roopkund, a high altitude glacier lake in Uttarkhand for a 15-day trek. Two years later, at the age of 10, she undertook her first winter Himalayan expedition and conquered the Stok Kangri in Ladakh, going without food or water for 18 hours.
In preparation for her seven-summit challenge, Jaahnavi undertook training at the Darjeeling-based Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. She has overcome bitter weather, muscle cramps, disappointments and self-doubts as she persists with her pursuits.
Juggling academic and extra-curricular involvements, her rigorous training regimen includes strength and conditioning sessions, cycling, endurance running, sprinting, load carrying and climbing as well as following a carefully structured diet. Yet, it is her mental stamina and determination to set tough goals for herself, and achieve them, that is truly inspirational.
Working towards her own targets, Jaahnavi is very keen for everyone else to follow their goals.
“I believe life is an adventure and one has to live it fully, without any fear,” she said. “The adrenaline rush is what I enjoy the most and it is my active interest in outdoor activities that has helped me eradicate my fears. I think one can enjoy life only by taking up new challenges and striving hard to achieve new goals.” As a brand ambassador for the Valmiki Foundation, her ultimate goal is to raise awareness of problems facing the Indian girl child, particularly issues around malnutrition and educational access.
“I want to complete the Mission Seven Summit for a cause. I want girl children to be educated. Training them for self defence and preparing them to fight for themselves is another of my dreams. Someday I want to start my own Martial Arts and Adventure Sports Training Academy,” she said. The Sydney Telugu Association presented Jaahanavi with a cheque for $750, while Ravi and Lakshmi Danthurthi of Continental Travels sponsored all flights for her upcoming expedition.