Premlata Agarwal is the first Indian woman to scale the Seven Summits, the seven highest continental peaks of the world. She belongs to Darjeeling, West Bengal, her father Ramawtar Garg was a businessman. She suddenly came across the spirit of adventure.
She is married to Vimal Agarwal, a senior journalist. They have two daughters, one of whom is married. She holds the record of being the oldest Indian woman mountaineer to conquer the Mount Everest at the age of 48 until Sangeeta Sindhi Bahl hailing from Jammu and Kashmir broke her record in 2018 when she climbed the peak at the age of 53.
In 2013, the great Ms. Agarwal was awarded the Padma Shri and in 2017 she received the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award for her achievements in mountaineering.
She also participated in the First Indian Women’s Thar Desert Expedition in 2007 and again in 2015; a 40-day camel safari covering 2000 km. from Bhuj in Gujarat to the Wagah Border (Indo-Pak border) in Punjab after which her name came in the Limca Book of World Records.
While talking about the starting journey she said, one day she was taking her younger daughter to the JRD Tata Sports Complex, Jamshedpur in Jharkhand when she noticed a poster of a trek which was organized by the Tata Steel Adventure Foundation. She took the bold decision to participate in and she became third among 500 competitors.
Indian mountaineer Bachendri Pal guided him and keep her dream alive. She climbed the Everest in 2011. Ms. Agarwal said, “The will to persevere kept me going.”
She was asked by the reporters that what is her strength while climbing, she replied “While climbing, my mind is not on what challenges will crop up. I’m focused on accomplishing the mission I have set out for myself.”
She also revealed the most difficult moment for her saying, “While I was descending the Carstensz Pyramid in Indonesia, I had to pass through a rainforest. I had been walking for six days, was thoroughly exhausted. Suddenly, a huge rock fell on my leg. The medical kit proved to be inadequate, so I kept on dragging myself for another six days till I reached the base camp. This was an acid test of my strength.”
Expressing her love for her family she quoted, “One cannot achieve these highs without the support of family. I was lucky to have such an appreciative family where my husband and in-laws prompted me to explore my interests. My daughters are really proud of me.” Presently she is working with Tata Steel as an officer.