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From Selling Fish to Conquering World’s Highest Road; A Bihar Woman’s Incredible Journey of Grit

A mountaineer and a cyclist, Bihar's Sabita Mahato conquered Umling La Pass in Ladakh – the world’s highest motorable road at 19,300 feet. How she reached there is an inspiring story of determination and courage.

From Selling Fish to Conquering World’s Highest Road; A Bihar Woman’s Incredible Journey of Grit

Born into an impoverished family in the Chhapra district of Bihar, Sabita Mahato once used to sell fish in her father’s tiny shop. In order to support her family, she took up sports and it soon became her passion.

“My conservative family was against my decision when I informed them that I wanted to be in sports. But I was very strict and dedicated to my sports and eventually convinced them,” she says.

After becoming a national-level volleyball player, Sabita turned to endurance sports. She also decided to conquer Umling La Pass in Ladakh – the world’s highest motorable road at 19,300 feet.

Sabita covered 570 km on foot from Manali to Umling La in just 18 days and became the first woman to cycle alone from Delhi to Umling La.

“There were many hurdles such as body and backache. Every day, you are running 40-45 km of the high altitude passes. The weather also changes frequently; sometimes it is cold and sometimes it is hot,” she says.

Sabita has also covered over 33,000 km by cycle, including nine high-altitude passes and climbed 12 peaks. Last June, she became the first woman cyclist in the world to travel on the world’s highest road Umlingala.

Her cause is simple – Setting an example that inspires and empowers other women.

“Being from a conservative and poor family, there are so many girls who don’t get the chance to pursue their goals. I am glad I get to be one of them. I am still fighting and hoping that one day I will achieve my goal,” she says.

Watch Sabita’s inspirational journey to Umling La Pass here-

Edited by Padmashree Pande.

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