Thursday, May 23, 2019 11:07 PM

Ruined by liquor, she turns "Star Mahila" on History channel

Meet this brave lady from a West Godavari village in Andhra Pradesh, who bounced back in her life after ruined by the spectre of liquor and eventually became a “Star Mahila” on “The History” TV channels.

Indomitable spirit Indukuri Vijayalakshmi demonstrated in rebuilding her life drew the leading TV channel run by a US TV network to shoot a realty television show with her real life story. The documentary is scheduled to be telecast on May 10. Incidentally, the picturesque Katika waterfalls in the Araku Valley of Visakhapatnam district which put her on the world map of waterfall rappelling became a location for the documentary.

According to Vijayalakshmi, she drew herself into the sport of waterfall rappelling by accident. She was asked to come to the location for supply of T-shirts to a 13-member team tasked with rappelling and became its 14thmember in 2014. Her feat fetched her entry in the Limca Book of World Records as a first woman in the world with a credit of rappelling waterfalls from a 420ft-high peak.  

She began her innings in the adventure sports with rock climbing at Bhongiri fort and made it big when she scaled an unnamed 6100ft-high peak in Himalayas in June 2016 along with two youths from Monali in Himachal Pradesh.


For the middle-aged lady the dreams she weaved around her married life came crashing when she lost her alcoholic husband at an early age. She was forced into the marriage while pursuing under-graduation. “I attempted suicide twice as I was left with almost nothing to feed myself and my child after my husband’s death. But I decided to live for my daughter”, she recalls.  Coming from a conservative Kshatriya family, she had to do all the odd jobs like tailoring to support lone her girl child.


 She led the International Women’s Day celebrations in March last in Vijayawada with a difference by prompting over 100 women, all first-timers, into rock climbing and rappelling at the Kondapalli hills. “Adventure sports will inculcate fighting spirit in women so as to fight back all the odds they face as women in their life. People face many hurdles in their way of climbing and rappelling as they do in their day-to-day life”, she says, drawing parallels with the real life issues. She went on a cycle expedition covering 2000km from Itchapuram to Thada, promoting adventure sports as a remedy for suicidal tendencies in women. Government of Andhra Pradesh entered a memorandum of understanding with her Adventure Club of Andhra Pradesh in the recent investors’ summit in Visakhapatnam for development of Katika waterfall as a hub of adventure eco-tourism in the state. It is proposed to invest Rs 6.5cr for development of Katika waterfall and Mulapadu near Ibrahimpatnam of Krishna district as adventure eco-tourist hubs in collaboration with the club.

Sports were her passion during her childhood which she could not pursue due to family restrictions.

Vijayalakshmi appeals to the state government to take measures to draw the adolescent girls into adventure sports right from schooling as a defence against the problems of eve-teasing, depression and suicide confronting them.


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