Santosh Yadav has been portrayed as a firm-willed, decisive, courageous, adventurous girl endowed with a rational mind and physical and mental toughness. Born in a small village of Haryana, Santosh Yadav had an independent temperament right from the beginning and wished to live life on her own terms. She knew full well that her conservative family would pressurize her to adhere to the traditional way of life. But at the same time she was aware that if she chose a correct and a rational path, she would be able to change others and win their support.
Santosh Yadav had the courage to oppose what she considered to be wrong. When her parents insisted that she should get married on turning sixteen, she put her foot down and made it clear that her first priority was getting educated. Determined as she was, she got herself enrolled in a school in Delhi. When the parents threatened that they would not pay her school fees, she told them that she would work part-time to pay for her education. Her parents had to finally relent before her determination. Later on, her iron will, physical endurance and mental toughness helped her to first join Maharani College Jaipur and then Nehru Institute of Mountaineering at Uttarkashi. Her hard work and determination, mental strength and physical fitness equipped her for undertaking the dangerous journey to reach Mt. Everest, the ‘top of the world’ successfully, not once, but twice.
Santosh Yadav’s humanitarian attitude and team-spirit came to the fore during her expedition when she helped her fellow climbers. Her concern for the environment was evident when she brought down as much as 500 kilograms of garbage from the Himalayas.
All these qualities and amazing achievements helped Santosh earn one of the nation’s top awards, Padmashri. She is a motivation for young men and women in the world.
Santosh Yadav’s Parents
Santosh Yadav’s parents were affluent but orthodox, conservative landlords. They liked to live according to the prevailing customs in the family. However, whenever they tried to make Santosh toe the line set by traditions and the girl offered resistance, they yielded because they loved her from the core of their hearts, and knew that she had chosen a correct and a rational path. Thus, Santosh kept on getting support from her parents, which in the long run helped her reach the zenith of glory.