The brain behind Purna’s feat
The Brain Behind Purna’s Feat. Recently when 13-year-old Malavath Purna and 16-year-old Anand scaled the Mount Everest, an IPS officer who was the brain behind the event, didn’t hog the limelight.
History rarely recognised the architects, designers and masons who built the beautiful Taj Mahal. Recently when 13-year-old Malavath Purna and 16-year-old Anand scaled the Mount Everest, an IPS officer who was the brain behind the event, didn’t hog the limelight.
Dr R S Praveen Kumar, special secretary, Andhra Pradesh Social Welfare Educational Society (APWERIS), was the determined face who recognised the talent of the two mountain climbers and sent them to hoist the Indian flag on Everest.
At 6am on May 25, 13-year-old Malavath Purna became the youngest girl to climb the world’s tallest peak. She had carried with her a photograph of Dalit leader Dr BR Ambedkar and the tricolour flag. As soon as she hoisted the flags on the summit, she immediately called Praveen and intimidated him about the achievement.
Praveen Kumar is the brain behind the introduction of adventure sports among many other things into the curriculum of APWERIS as a confidence-building measure for youngsters who all hail from poor backgrounds.
Praveen Kumar said, “I wanted to bring out the talent of children and give it a shape and a colour of success. We had talent competitions in rock climbing and that’s where we selected Purna and Anand.”
“It took more than seven months to convince my officers and political leaders for this mission. I knew that it was risky, that they may even die due to bad weather, due to an avalanche or due to lack of oxygen. But I was focussed. When I signed the GO, I envisaged the risk of my job and lives of the children.”
“The most emotional moment was at the railway station when I called Poona’s parents, Devidas and Laxmi, aside for a few minutes before the train was about to leave. I asked them if they wanted to change their mind and asked what in case their child never returned. They simply said that they had high regards for her daughter,” he recalled.
What transpired after that became history. Talking about how people need to encourage children, Praveen said, “I think people are born with crazy insights and that we fail to appreciate many of them. I've come to believe that the most valuable talent is being able to recognise hidden skills that children possess. Why? There's only one you, and you only have so much time. But if you can bring out the best in others, you gain remarkable leverage.”
The media shy but tough police officer says that his next mission is to gain an Oscar in film making and is busy working towards it.