“I was scared, but all I wanted was to reach my goal,” says Virat Chandra, the 7-year-old from Hyderabad who could be perhaps one of the youngest to have scaled Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.
The 7-year-old achieved the rare feat on March 6.
Virat’s coach Bharath informed that he decided to take Virat for mountaineering after a month-long rigorous training. “Virat has that passion in him. He was very excited to train, unlike many who quit midway through the training,” says Bharath.
Virat was inspired to climb the world’s tallest free-standing mountain after listening to the experiences of his cousins.
“I talked to my cousins about their experience of climbing mountains. At that moment, I also wanted to climb like them. I discussed with my parents about my interest, they approached Bharath sir, my coach, who trained me,” says Virat.
Virat’s mother says that he was excited at listening to his cousins and wanted to do something similar.
“Virat had a video call with his cousins once when they had gone to Rudugaira Mountains in Uttarakhand for a trekking trip. When Virat saw the place in the video call, he became fascinated. Even he wanted to try something like that,” says Virat’s mother.
Detailing Virat’s training, his coach Bharath says, “Virat took the training seriously and completed all the tasks including running and mock climbing with utmost dedication. We started the journey on March 5, keeping all the precautions in mind as a child was climbing with us. After beginning the climb on March 5, we reached the Uhuru peak of Kilimanjaro on March 6.”
In between, they took some time out to sleep and rest before taking to trek up the mountain again.
“We took all the precautions and had decided that we would return if Virat feels uneasy, but he made us proud!” said the coach.