Hyderabad: When 10-month-old Jaahnavi Sriperambuduru started her mountaineering career in 2002 — under the watchful eyes of her father Dr Krishna Rao, who is also a qualified mountaineer — people said: “Mental doctor, mental work”. The same people now congratulate Jaahnavi who at the of age 12 holds the world record for being the youngest person to reach the summit of Stok Kangri peak, which is nearly 20,080 feet, in Leh, Ladakh.
“I started the trek on August 13 from the base camp and reached the top after 12 hours,” says an elated Jaahnavi, a Class IX student of St Michael’s school. “My classmates and school management are very happy for me; they gave me a grand welcome when I reached Hyderabad on August 21,” she says.
Jaahnavi is a mountaineer (the only one in her school), a professional Bharatnatyam dancer and also an artist. On an average, she trains for four hours every day near her residence in Alwal. She is a good student, too, and scored above 80 per cent in her previous academic session. “Even though my schedule is packed, I don’t let it affect my studies. During the Leh-Ladakh trek, I had my books with me and got homework info through SMSes,” says Jaahnavi.
Ask her why she loves mountaineering, a sport where one gets hurt, she says, “Adventure without risk is Disneyland! I want to live a life full of adventure. Moreover, I love nature and mountaineering and trekking is one way to enjoy nature.”