This month, Aparna Kumar became the first female IPS officer to reach the South Pole. Despite being on medications and recovering from pneumonia that she had contracted just before leaving for the expedition, she managed to pull the 35-kg sledge.
The 2002 batch IPS of UP cadre told HT,
“Braving high-speed icy wind which slashed my face amid bouts of frostbite and chest congestion made the experience of skiing up to eight hours a day at a temperature of minus 40 degree Celsius memorable.”
“As soon as the skiing commenced, I started pneumonia drugs. I was constantly coughing. Pulling the 35 kgs sled was also energy sapping as every day we were gaining altitude.”
Posted as DIG of Indo-Tibetan Border Police in Dehradun, Aparna has had experience in battling cold and dry climates such as that of Antarctica. She has already scaled the top six peaks of six continents, including Mt Everest. She has also trekked to Antarctica’s highest peak — Mt Vinson.