A poor 13-year-old girl from a tribal village in India became the youngest female to climb Mount Everest on Sunday.
Malavath Poorna, a member of India's lowest Dalit caste, wanted to take on the challenge to bring recognition to her community and to encourage her peers to pursue their dreams, AFP reported.
"The aim of my expedition was to inspire young people and students from my kind of background," she told the BBC. "For a tribal [girl] like me, opportunities are very rare and I was looking for one opportunity where I could prove my caliber."
The determined teen’s father earns just 35,000 rupees (roughly $600) per year, and the expedition was funded by a government-run social welfare organization, according to AFP.
Malavath made the climb along with her friend Anand Kumar -- a 16-year-old who also comes from an underserved family -- as well as an experienced mountaineer and a group of sherpas. They reached the peak at 6 a.m. on Sunday and promptly hoisted the Indian flag at the finish, according to the BBC.
Malavath’s accomplishment is even more remarkable considering that she reached the peak from the more difficult Tibetan side. Most people attempt the climb from the Nepalese side, but the country doesn’t allow climbers younger than 16 to scale the mountain, the BBC reported.
"We are happy that our girl has set the world record," Malayath’s parents told the Times of India. "We know she will go places. She is not only bright in academics, but also in adventure."