Poorna Malavath is an Indian mountaineer who has completed the seven summit mountaineering challenge. She is the world’s youngest tribal girl to complete seven summits and the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest.
Poorna Malavath was born on Saturday, 10 June 2000 (age 22 years; as of 2023) in Pakala village, Sirkonda Mandal in Nizamabad district, Telangana (then – Andhra Pradesh). Her zodiac sign is Gemini. During her childhood, she attended the local school in her village, and at the age of 11 moved to the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) for Women school in Tadwai, Kamareddy. After completing her schooling, she pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) degree college and moved to Minnesota State University, USA, as a fellow student of the Global Undergraduate Exchange Program. As of 2023, she is pursuing postgraduation from Osmania University, Hyderabad.
Height (approx.): 4′ 10″
Weight (approx.): 50 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
She belongs to a Tribal family.
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Devadas, and her mother’s name is Lakshmi. They are agricultural farm workers. She has a brother named Naresh Malavath, who is studying engineering.
She belongs to the Lambada tribe.
Her talent in mountaineering was spotted in 2013 by R S Praveen Kumar, IPS officer and then-Secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society during the co-curricular activities he initiated to curb the high school dropout rate. She travelled on weekends to the Rock Climbing School, Bhongir in the Nalgonda district, Telangana to train under the coach Sekhar Babu Bachinepally. She was then sent on a rock climbing expedition with 110 members at Bhongir. The selectors were stunned when she climbed the 6,500 feet rock without any ropes, using only the small crevices in the rock. R S Praveen Kumar chose her and 19 other students to learn high-altitude mountaineering at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute in Darjeeling. After she completed the basic training in Darjeeling, she went to Ladakh to learn and practice mountaineering in the snow at high altitudes. She was chosen alongside her friend S Anand Kumar from Khammam, to climb Mount Everest and they underwent 8 months of rigorous physical training under the chief coach Sekhar Babu Bachinepally. During the training, she climbed 17000 feet Mount Renok in the Kanchenjunga range to acclimatise herself for high altitude climbing. She reached the summit of Mount Everest at 6 am on 25 May 2014, the highest peak in the world which is 8,848 metres above sea level, along with her coach Sekhar Babu, friend Anand Kumar, and a group of a few Sherpas after a 52 days expedition. This was her first major climb and the first climb of the 7 Summit climb.
She climbed the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro on the evening of 15 August 2016, the highest peak in Africa which is 5,895 metres above sea level. She climbed to the top of Mount Elbrus on 27th July 2017 at around 10.00hrs (IST), the highest peak in Russia and in Europe which is 5,642 metres above sea level. She completed the summit of Mount Aconcagua on 15 February 2019, the highest peak in South America which is 6,961 metres above sea level. She trained at Rock Climbing School, Bhongir, (RCSB), under the guidance of chief instructor Parmesh Kumar Singh and reached the summit of Mount Carstensz Pyramid in the early morning hours on 22 March 2019, the highest peak of the Oceania Region which is 4,884 metres above sea level.
She completed the summit of Mount Vinson Massif on 26 December 2019, the highest peak in Antarctica which is 4,987 metres above sea level. She completed the 7-summit climb when she climbed Mount Denali on 5 June 2022, the highest peak in North America which is 6,190 meters above sea level.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 2014: Ruby Jubilee Healthcare award in Mumbai
- 2014: Special award at Sakshi Excellence awards
- 2014: Felicitated by then Telangana CM K. Chandrashekar Rao and awarded 25 lakh cash, 5-acre plot, and 2 bhk house
- 2015: Guest speaker at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Summit as a part of a campaign called Nine is Mine
- 2018: Pride of Telangana Award at Zee Apsara awards
- 2019: Jagruthi Youth Achievement Award
- 2022: Felicitated by Indian PM Narendra Modi
- During her 8-month of training for the Mount Everest climb, she ran 28 km every day, played volleyball, and did yoga.
- She is the world’s youngest tribal girl to complete the 7-summit climb.
- In 2017, a film based on her life was released. It was titled Poorna: Courage has no Limit, starring Aditi Inamdar as Poorna and directed by Indian actor Rahul Bose. She unveiled the poster of the film on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The film shows her sister; however, she denied having any sister in real life.
- In 2019, Aparna Thota wrote and released her biography which she titled Poorna: The Youngest Girl in the World to Scale Mount Everest.
- She said in an interview that she was afraid for a moment when she saw the heap of dead bodies on her summit to the top of Mount Everest; however, she quickly remembered her parents and continued to trek. In the same interview, she revealed that she did not like packaged foods she consumed during her trek.
- She played kabaddi and volleyball in her school before she was selected for mountaineering.
- When she saw Mount Everest from a distance during her training, she said to her coach that it was very small and she could climb it in one day.
- She initially planned to climb Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America in the summer of 2020; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she dropped the idea.
- She also works with several social organisations in her locality to spread awareness for education for girls and the importance of health.
- She credited R S Praveen Kumar as the inspiration behind her achievements and wants to become an IPS officer like him.
- After she climbed Mount Everest, the applications for admission to the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) for Women increased to 60,000 from 8,700.
- After she climbed the top of Mount Elbrus, she unfurled a 50 feet national flag and sang the national anthem.
- She was listed on the Forbes India list of self-made women in 2020.
- She likes to play the guitar.
- She likes to do cycling and ride motorcycles.
- She is a dog lover.
- She is the youngest girl to climb Mount Everest and was 13 years 11 months old when she climbed it.
- She climbed Mount Everest from the Tibetan side as the Nepalese officials do not allow any person below 16 years of age to climb from the Nepali side.
- After climbing Mount Everest, she spent 15 minutes on the top and unfurled the national flag, the Telangana flag and her school flag. She also wanted to jump; however, she did not due to the low oxygen levels. She also left a photograph of Dr B. R. Ambedkar on the summit.
- Her favourite food is Fried Chicken and Biryani.
- Poorna Malavath is the inspiration of Amey Sanjay Gawale, a mountaineer from Adilabad, Telangana, who became the youngest person at 13 years and one month to reach the south base camp of Mount Everest.
- She drinks milk every day to maintain her fitness; however, she does not like it.