Reach for the Top Part 1 Santosh Yadav, Summary, Explanation, Book Questions, Class 9 CBSE English Lesson
By Ruchika Gupta
Reach for the Top Part 1 Santosh Yadav, CBSE Class 9 English Beehive Lesson 8 Explanation Notes
Reach for the Top Part 1 Santosh Yadav CBSE Class 9 English Beehive Lesson - Detailed explanation of the lesson along with meanings of difficult words followed by a Summary of the lesson. All the exercises and Question given at the back of the lesson have been covered.
CBSE Class IX Beehive Lesson 8 - Reach for the Top
Part 1 Santosh Yadav
The article is about Santosh Yadav, the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest twice. Her story is inspiring. Despite being born in a skewed society which did not welcome the birth of a girl child, where girls were married off at sixteen, she made her own path, followed her desires and achieved world fame.
See Video for Explanation and Summary of the Lesson
Lesson and explanation
The only woman in the world who has scaled Mt Everest twice was born in a society where the birth of a son was regarded as a blessing, and a daughter, though not considered a curse, was not generally welcome. When her mother was expecting Santosh, a travelling ‘holy man’, giving her his blessing, assumed that she wanted a son. But, to everyone’s surprise, the unborn child’s grandmother, who was standing close by, told him that they did not want a son. The ‘holy man’ was also surprised! Nevertheless, he gave the requested blessing . . . and as destiny would have it, the blessing seemed to work. Santosh was born the sixth child in a family with five sons, a sister to five brothers. She was born in the small village of Joniya was of Rewari District in Haryana.
When this article was written, Santosh Yadav was the only woman in the world to have climbed the Mount Everest twice. She was born in such a society which was biased towards having a male child over a female child. Although they did not consider the birth of a girl child to be unfortunate, but it was not celebrated either. When Santosh was to be born, a saint, assuming that Santosh’s mother wanted a son, blessed her that she would beget a son. As she already had five sons, Santosh’s grandmother said to the saint that they did not want a son. The saint was amazed to hear this and blessed her alternatively. The blessing turned into a reality as Santosh was born. She was the youngest child, a sister to five brothers. Santosh was born in a village named Joniyawas in Rewari district of Haryana.
The girl was given the name ‘Santosh’, which means contentment. But Santosh was not always content with her place in a traditional way of life. She began living life on her own terms from the start. Where other girls wore traditional Indian dresses, Santosh preferred shorts. Looking back, she says now, “From the very beginning I was quite determined that if I chose a correct and a rational path, the others around me had to change, not me.”
Although Santosh’s name means contentment, she was dissatisfied with the traditional way of life. From a young age, she started living life on her own terms. While other girls wore traditional Indian dresses like salwar kameez, she preferred wearing shorts. Santosh recollects that from childhood, she was determined to live life according to what she felt was right for her. If she was right in her way, then others would have to change their way and not her.
Santosh’s parents were affluent landowners who could afford to send their children to the best schools, even to the country’s capital, New Delhi, which was quite close by. But, in line with the prevailing custom in the family, Santosh had to make do with the local village school. So, she decided to fight the system in her own quiet way when the right moment arrived. And the right moment came when she turned sixteen. At sixteen, most of the girls in her village used to get married. Santosh was also under pressure from her parents to do the same.
Affluent: well - to - do
In line with: following or in accordance with, according to
Santosh’s parents owned land and were wealthy. They could even afford the money to send their children to study in schools in Delhi which was near their village. Still, due to the prevailing customs, they decided to send Santosh to a school in the village. Santosh decided that she had to take her own path when the right time cam. At the age of sixteen, as most of the girls in her village were married off, she was also pressurised by her parents.
A marriage as early as that was the last thing on her mind. She threatened her parents that she would never marry if she did not get a proper education. She left home and got herself enrolled in a school in Delhi. When her parents refused to pay for her education, she politely informed them of her plans to earn money by working part time to pay her school fees. Her parents then agreed to pay for her education.
the last thing: the least important thing
For her, getting married was nowhere in the list. She wanted to get proper education before getting married. Santosh left home and got admission in a school in Delhi. Her parents refused to fund her studies and she gently replied that she would herself fund her studies by working part - time. Upon seeing her determination, the parents softened their stand and agreed to pay for her education.
Wishing always to study “a bit more” and with her father slowly getting used to her urge for more education, Santosh passed the high school examinations and went to Jaipur. She joined Maharani College and got a room in Kasturba Hostel. Santosh remembers, “Kasturba Hostel faced the Aravalli Hills. I used to watch villagers from my room, going up the hill and suddenly vanishing after a while. One day I decided to check it out myself. I found nobody except a few mountaineers. I asked if I could join them. To my pleasant surprise, they answered in the affirmative and motivated me to take to climbing.”
Urge: strong desire
Check it out: find out the truth
Answered in the affirmative: gave a positive reply
Santosh wanted to be highly qualified and her father accepted her wish. After passing high school, she joined to Maharani college at Jaipur and stayed at the Kasturba hostel. The Aravalli hills were near the hostel. Often she saw villagers climbing the hills and disappearing behind it. She was curious to know what was beyond the hills and one day, she decided to find out. Santosh found a few mountaineers who allowed her to join them in their mountaineering expedition.
Then there was no looking back for this determined young girl. She saved money and enrolled in a course at Uttarkashi’s Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. “My college semester in Jaipur was to end in April but it ended on the nineteenth of May. And I was supposed to be in Uttarkashi on the twenty-first. So, I did not go back home; instead, I headed straight for the training. I had to write a letter of apology to my father without whose permission I had got myself enrolled at Uttarkashi.”
No looking back: to progress without interruption or impediment
Enrolled: took admission into
Headed straight for: went towards
Since then, Santosh progressed gradually to become an accomplished mountaineer. She saved money to get enrolled in a mountaineering course at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi. As her college semester’s end got delayed and she did not have time to visit home before reporting at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, she went directly to the institute and wrote a letter of apology to her father because she had enrolled for the course without his permission.
Thereafter, Santosh went on an expedition every year. Her climbing skills matured rapidly. Also, she developed a remarkable resistance to cold and the altitude. Equipped with an iron will, physical endurance and an amazing mental toughness, she proved herself repeatedly. The culmination of her hard work and sincerity came in 1992, just four years after she had shyly asked the Aravalli mountaineers if she could join them. At barely twenty years of age, Santosh Yadav scaled Mt Everest, becoming the youngest woman in the world to achieve the feat. If her climbing skills, physical fitness, and mental strength impressed her seniors, her concern for others and desire to work together with them found her a special place in the hearts of fellow climbers. During the 1992 Everest mission, Santosh Yadav provided special care to a climber who lay dying at the South Col. She was unfortunately unsuccessful in saving him. However, she managed to save another climber, Mohan Singh, who would have met with the same fate had she not shared her oxygen with him.
Resistance: the ability not to be affected by something
Equipped: supplied with
Physical endurance: strength
Santosh went on an expedition every year and improved her skills gradually. She developed immunity to cold weather and heights. Santosh had the qualities of physical strength, mental strength and strong will power. In 1992, four years after her first casual climb on the Aravalli hills, she climbed Mount Everest. She was twenty years of age. Santosh became the youngest woman in the world to climb the peak. Her seniors were impressed by her qualities of physical strength, mental strength and strong will power. Her companions on expeditions found her to be concerned for others and willing to work as a team. During the 1992 expedition to Everest, she tried to save a fellow climber but was unsuccessful. She was successful in saving another fellow climber - Mohan Singh who fell short of oxygen by sharing her oxygen with him.
Within twelve months, Santosh found herself a member of an Indo-Nepalese Women’s Expedition that invited her to join them. She then scaled the Everest a second time, thus setting a record as the only woman to have scaled the Everest twice, and securing for herself and India a unique place in the annals of mountaineering. In recognition of her achievements, the Indian government bestowed upon her one of the nation’s top honours, the Padma Shri.
Annals: historic records
Bestowed upon her: honoured her with
Top honours: highest award
Within the next year, she had joined a group of Indo - Nepalese mountaineer women. Then she climbed the peak the second time, becoming the only woman to have climbed the Everest twice. Santosh made India proud by getting her name recording in the Historic records of mountaineering. The Indian government honoured her achievement by giving her the Padmashri award.
Describing her feelings when she was literally ‘on top of the world’, Santosh has said, “It took some time for the enormity of the moment to sink in... Then I unfurled the Indian tricolour and held it aloft on the roof of the world. The feeling is indescribable. The Indian flag was flying on top of the world. It was truly a spiritual moment. I felt proud as an Indian.” Also a fervent environmentalist, Santosh collected and brought down 500 kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.
the enormity of the moment: a very great moment
sink in: be understood
held it aloft: held it up high
fervent: having strong and sincere feelings
Santosh recollects her feelings when she was literally at the top of the world. She took time to realize that she had achieved something big. She hoisted the Indian flag atop Mount Everest, on the highest point of the world. She cannot put the great feeling into words. She felt proud to be an Indian. As she believes in preserving the environment, she did her bit by bringing down five hundred kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.
Santosh Yadav was born to wealthy landowners in Joniya was village of Rohtak district in Haryana. She was the youngest child, a sister to five elder brothers. Due to the traditions, she was forced to study in the village school. Since childhood, she was opposed to the customs, preferred wearing shorts in opposition to the traditional dresses like salwar kameez. At the age of sixteen, like other girls in the village, she was forced to get married but she resisted and insisted upon getting educated before getting married. She took admission in a school in Delhi but her parents refused to support her. She accepted it and decided to work part - time to fund her schooling fee. Finally, her parents agreed to support her. Her father accepted her desire to get higher education. After high school, Santosh joined the Maharani college at Jaipur and lived at the Kasturba hostel. There she saw the villagers climb the Aravalli hills and was curious to know what was at the other side of the hills. She joined a group of mountaineers there and hence, undertook her first climbing expedition.
Within four years, in 1992, she climbed Mount Everest. Her qualities of determination, physical and mental strength impressed her seniors. Her fellow climbers appreciated her concern for others and willingness to work in a team. She saved the life of a fellow climber named Mohan Singh by sharing her oxygen cylinder with him. She joined an Indo - Nepalese woman expedition and climbed Everest twice, thus becoming the first woman in the world to climb the peak twice.
Santosh cannot describe the immense feeling of happiness and pride when she was on top of the world. As she hoisted the Indian flag, she felt proud to be an Indian. Being an environmentalist, she brought down five hundred kilograms of garbage from the himalayas.
Question and answers
Answer these questions in one or two sentences each. (The paragraph numbers within brackets provide clues to the answers.)
Q1. Why was the ‘holy man’ who gave Santosh’s mother his blessings surprised?
A. The holy man who blessed Santosh’s mother was surprised because Santosh’s grandmother said that they did not want a son. As she already had five sons, they only wanted to be blessed with a gifted child. The holy man was surprised because every mother wanted to give birth to a son, contrary to Santosh’s mother.
Q2. Give an example to show that even as a young girl Santosh was not ready to accept anything unreasonable.
A. Santosh was not always content with her place in a traditional way of life. She began living life on her own terms from the start. Where other girls wore traditional Indian dresses, Santosh preferred shorts.
Q3. Why was Santosh sent to the local school?
A. Although her parents were wealthy and could send her to a good school in the city of Delhi, they sent her to the village school because they followed the traditions.
Q4. When did she leave home for Delhi, and why?
A. At the age of sixteen, Santosh left for Delhi and got admission in a school there. She wanted to get good education before getting married. Although her parents did not support her initially, they heeded to her determination and accepted her decision.
Q5. Why did Santosh’s parents agree to pay for her schooling in Delhi? What mental qualities of Santosh are brought into light by this incident?
A. Initially, Santosh’s parents refused to support her financially. She accepted this and decided to work part - time to pay her school fee. Then, her parents softened and consented to support her. This shows she was determined and did what she thought was right and that others had to change their path accordingly.
Answer each of these questions in a short paragraph (about 30 words).
Q1. How did Santosh begin to climb mountains?
A. When Santosh joined the Maharani college at Jaipur, she resided at the Kasturba hostel. It was located near the Aravalli hills. Everyday she saw the villagers climb the hills and disappear behind them. She grew inquisitive and finally, one day, joined a group of mountaineers to unfold the mystery. This way she started climbing mountains.
Q2. What incidents during the Everest expedition show Santosh’s concern for her team-mates?
A. Santosh tried to save a fellow climber but was unsuccessful at it. Later, she was successful in saving the life of a fellow climber named Mohan Singh by sharing her oxygen cylinder with him.
Q3. What shows her concern for the environment?
A. She brought down five hundred kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas. This shows her concern for the environment.
Q4. How does she describe her feelings at the summit of the Everest?
A. Santosh was full of happiness and pride when she was literally on top of the world. As she unfurled the Indian flag, she felt proud of being an Indian. It was a spiritual moment for her.
Q5. Santosh Yadav got into the record books both times she scaled Mt Everest. What were the reasons for this?
A. The first time when Santosh climbed the Everest, she became the youngest woman to scale the Everest. When she climbed it the second time, she became the first woman in the world to have climbed the Everest twice.
Complete the following statements.
1. From her room in Kasturba Hostel, Santosh used to _________
2. When she finished college, Santosh had to write a letter of apology to her father because _________
3. During the Everest expedition, her seniors in the team admired her _____________
while ___________ endeared her to fellow climbers.
1. From her room in Kasturba Hostel, Santosh used to watch the villagers climb the Aravalli hills.
2. When she finished college, Santosh had to write a letter of apology to her father because she had enrolled for a mountaineering course at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, Uttarkashi.
3. During the Everest expedition, her seniors in the team admired her determination
While her concern for others endeared her to fellow climbers.
Pick out words from the text that mean the same as the following words or expressions. (Look in the paragraphs indicated.)
1. took to be true without proof (1): _________
2. based on reason; sensible; reasonable (2): ____________
3. the usual way of doing things (3): _______________
4. a strong desire arising from within (5): ____________
5. the power to endure, without falling ill (7): __________________