Hyderabad: A cyclist and mountaineer, she is out to prove to the world that girls are capable of doing anything without family support.
After losing mother when she was just nine and her father, a tailor, few years ago, P. Sameera Khan overcame all odds to come up in life and is now looking for sponsors to fulfill her ambition of scaling Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world.
A solo traveller, she has already cycled her way to 20 countries. The 30-year-old from Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh has already scaled four mountains, the highest being 6,858 meter high Ama Dablam in Nepal.
"I want to tell the world that a girl in India needs lot of support from her parents. I am trying to pursue my dream, earning for it, spending for it, everything on my own but now I have come to a point where I need some financial support to attain my ambition. I want to tell the world that girls are capable of doing everything despite not having family support," Sameera told IANS.
The backpacker's Mt Everest expedition requires Rs 30-35 lakh. "I have some money and I need sponsorship. The kind of work I do should be getting lot of support," she said.
She wants to scale Mt Everest from Tibet side and not Nepal, which she said is commercial and easy. "From Tibet side, it is tough and also very technical. Rather than doing just for the sake of doing, I want to do something which makes me feel I have done the whole thing beyond my ability," she said.
Sameera said she approached the government authorities for help but they refused as they don't consider mountaineering as a sport.
Youngest among five siblings, she lost her mother at the age of nine and was brought up by her father, a tailor.
While pursuing medical lab technology course after 10th standard, the family finances forced her to take up a job in BPO in Bengaluru.
During Srinagar floods of 2014, she travelled to Kashmir as a volunteer. She went on a solo Pahalgam valley trek for two days and soon she started learning how to survive in tough conditions.
Sameera, who lost her father in 2015, started undertaking solo travels with her savings. She cycled across South Asian and South East Asian countries. In India, she cycled for over 1,000 km covering various states.
Her trekking expedition started with Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand and later extended to Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. She has already covered 550 km high altitude trekking.
She has have not done any course in mountaineering. "I was already cyclist. I cycled in 20 countries. I think that boosted my confidence to become a high-altitude trekker," said Sameera currently an entrepreneur at Kepler Home Cinema in Hyderabad.
Always ready to accept new challenges, Sameera started high altitude mountaineering. "Mountaineering is very down thing. It's toughest of all sports. People who are into mountaineering have to be mentally and physically tough. Only those people who are not afraid of death can survive," she said.
On November 13, 2018, she climbed 6,859 meters high Ama Dablam mountain peak in Nepal. This came barely a month after she had ascended 6,160 meters high Imja Tse (island) peak.
This further boosted her confidence and she started training for scaling Mount Everest. She has to go the UK for advance training, which alone will cost Rs 3.50 lakh.
"I want to attribute to my demised parents a legacy of my lifetime achievement by inspiring women and girls from the suburbs of South India. Then I want to publish my book and make a small documentary on my life journey. I want the world to respect women and regard them high," shared Sameera, whose all four sisters are married.
She said that she has so much to say to the world but before that wants to scale the peak. "I can be heard if only I am at the top as people listen to eminent and dynamic personalities," added the girl with Himalayan ambitions.