A strong passion is all one needs to reach the highest peak of success. Sai Sudhir Kawade, a 12-year-old from Maharashtra’s Pune is a live example of this. Born in 2009, Sai embarked upon an adventurous journey of trekking at the tender age of 4. He started with the Sahyadri ranges of Maharashtra and at the age of 9, has trekked to more than 100 mountain ranges known for their height. Some of the ones that Sai had camped to include, Leh Ladakh’s Stok Kangri mountains, Japan’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Russia’s Mount Elbrus, Patalsu Peak, etc.
According to his family, Sai Kawade set a world record on 15th August 2018 when he stepped on the peak of Russia’s Mount Elbrus becoming Asia’s youngest boy to do so at the age of 10. This feat, however, hasn’t been recorded by any government body of India.
About his recent summitting missions, the COVID-19 pandemic that made almost every single person stay indoors made no difference to Sai. Even during the challenging times of the pandemic, Sai successfully climbed two peaks, one being the Patalsu peak situated in India’s Himachal Pradesh and the other the Friendship peak situated in Jammu and Kashmir. The third peak that Sai was going to climb was Mount Shitidhar. However, due to the sudden occurrence of rockfall, the mission had to be aborted. The journey to these summits began from Pune to Manali via Delhi.
Sai Kawade’s family comes from a considerably weaker economic background. His father Mr Sudhir Kawade works for a local wifi service provider in Pimpri Chinchwad Maharashtra on a minimal salary and his mother is a homemaker. Sai’s father, during an interaction with Youth Incorporated, said that all the treks and mountaineering missions that Sai has been to have all been possible with the monetary help provided by NGOs, local politicians, policemen, friends and relatives. Decathlon, a sports brand has recognised Sai’s potential and helps him have a comfortable trekking experience by offering him sports products. Many celebrities too have shared the success stories of Sai on various social media platforms. Nevertheless, the government, both state as well as union, hasn’t taken note of Sai’s success and potential as yet.
Sai, a 7th standard student, is currently completing his schooling at Bhartiya Vidyapeeth Balewadi, Pune. When asked about how the mountaineer juggles between studies and trekking, Mr Sudhir Kawade said that the school extends its complete support to Sai’s expedition every time.
Sai has a set lifestyle that ensures he stays fit to continue trekking exceptionally. He exercises 4-5 hours daily under the guidance of his father. Sai also follows a strict and healthy diet that includes dry fruits, fruits, healthy drinks, boiled eggs, pulses, etc. Junk food for this young boy seldom makes its way onto his plate. Although financial constraints make it difficult for Sai’s parents to provide him with a proper diet, his father says, he does everything he can in his capacity to realise Sai’s life goals.
At times when most of those in their 20s too, don’t have a set career goal, Sai already has one in place. In the coming future, Sai wishes to be a part of the Indian Army, work as a para commando and serve the nation and its people.
Sai’s exceptional potential and the feat has been noted in the World Book of Records, Asia Book of Records, India Book of Records, Incredible Book of Records’ and High Range Book of World Records, the family informed.