Chandigarh: Most kids at her age tend to spend their time lazying around but eight-year-old Saanvi Sood loves trekking and scaling mountains.
Saanvi from Punjab's Rupnagar district has already waved the Indian flag at the base camp of Mount Everest.
She achieved this feat last year at the age of seven years and became the youngest girl in the country to do so, says her proud father Deepak Sood.
In July last year, Saanvi successfully scaled the African continent's highest peak Mount Kilimanjaro, situated at a height of 5,895 metres. She was at that time Asia's youngest girl to scale Mount Kilimanjaro, says Sood. Her quest for climbing mountains continued this year as well.
Scaled Australia's highest peak Mount Kosciuszko
Saanvi scaled Australia's highest peak Mount Kosciuszko (2,228 metres) in May and she climbed Mount Elbrus (5,642 metres) in Russia in July, becoming the world's youngest girl to do so.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann honoured Saanvi with a state award on Independence Day for her outstanding contribution in this field.
Dad's girl she is
The young climber says her father motivated her to undertake trekking expeditions and climb mountains. She recalls that she grew a knack for trekking after visiting her father's work sites in hilly areas.
Saanvi's father is a civil contractor, whose work is mostly related to soil testing for projects in mountain areas. “We used to visit Kedarnath and Mata Vaishno Devi temple every year. That is when I found that my daughter has very good stamina," recalls the mountaineer's father.
"As most of my work was in the hilly areas, Saanvi used to go along with me to my work sites. Once she covered an 18-km trek along with me at Rohtang, after which I felt that she could excel in this field,” Deepak says.
He adds that his daughter also goes cycling and practises yoga and other activities as part of her preparations for trekking and scaling mountains.
“We also do cardio and other exercises for good stamina,” says Deepak, who accompanies his daughter every time they climb a mountain.
Even as Saanvi is dedicated towards her preparation for the challenging task of scaling a mountain, she is equally focused on her academics.
Saanvi's mother helps her in her studies by preparing notes. The girl's teachers also praise her for her doing well in academics, says Deepak stressing his daughter's effective management of time and well-planned routine.
“After scaling Mount Elbrus in July, she returned home at around 3 am. But she was ready to go to her school at 8 am,” he adds.
Saanvi, who studies in third standard in a school based in Mohali, says she wants to convey to all that girls can do anything they want if they are physically and mentally strong.
Inputs from PTI