July 8: Yahya Sapatwala is a determined young man. Recently, he and his friends climbed the Beas Kund mountain in Manali, which is 12,000 feet (3,636 metres) high. And he did it without seeing. Yes, Yahya is blind.
But that has never stopped Yahya from doing what he wants. A college teacher in Surat town in the western state of Gujarat, he walks to work every day. He is familiar with the route and reaches the institute where he works, without any problem. At home, too, 30-year-old Yahya does not need any help to move around. He knows exactly where each object is and avoids bumping into them.
However, the Beas Kund was not home. It was a place he was not familiar with. Yet, Yahya was confident he would be able to climb the mountain along with his friends. And he did so with little help. His friends came to his aid only when he appeared to be straying from the narrow path to the top.
At one point, Yahya almost lost his confidence, ‘The Indian Express’ newspaper reported. He and his friends were just 2,000 feet away from the top of the mountain. Yahya was far behind the group and wondering whether he would make it to the peak. Finally, his determination helped him succeed.
Yahya’s friends are very proud of his achievement. “We thought it would be tough for him, but his spirit is indomitable,” said Priyank Oza, the man who organised the trek to the mountain.
“He is perfect in everything he does,” said Jagdish Patel, another friend.
Yahya is thrilled with his success, although he is sad that he could not actually see the snow on the mountain. “But I was able to feel it,” said the teacher who always looks at the brighter side of life.