Reach for the Top Summary

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Summary of Reach for the Top

NCERT Solutions for Class 9 English Beehive Chapter 8 Reach for the Top is the biography of two prominent figures, Santosh Yadav the only woman mountaineering, who climbed Mt. Everest twice and a Siberian girl Maria Sharapova, who became the world’s number one women tennis player in 2005. Both the women show that with determination and hard work, one can overcome all obstacles and achieve success.


There are two parts of Chapter 8 Reach for the Top. The first part is about Santosh Yadav, a record-holding mountaineer. Santosh Yadav was born in a very conservative society in Haryana, where daughters had no freedom but Santosh took control of her life with her strong will power and dedication. As a result, she became the first woman to climb Mt. Everest twice.

The second part of Chapter 8 Reach for the Top is about Maria Sharapova, a teenager who achieved the number one position in World’s Women Tennis. Maria had many sacrifices and also suffered humiliation to reach the top. However, all these only made her tough and more determined. Her hard work and her mental toughness finally led her to achieve her goal.

Summary of Reach for the Top Class 9 English

Part I

Santosh Yadav is the first woman in the world who has climbed Mt. Everest twice. She was born in a society where a son was considered as a blessing and a daughter was not welcomed. Once, a holy man visited the family to bless Santosh’s mother with a son but Santosh’s grandmother told him that they wanted a daughter. Santosh was the only sister to her five elder brothers. She was born in a small village in Joniawas of Rewari district in Haryana.

Santosh’s name means contentment or satisfaction but she was never satisfied with the traditional life of her society. She started to live her life according to her own terms from a very early age. When other girls of society wore traditional dress, Santosh wore shorts.

While her brothers were educated properly in good schools, she was sent to the local village school because of the family custom. Santosh decided to fight the system. When Santosh’s parents wanted to get her married at the age of sixteen as per the old tradition, Santosh refused to marry and threatened parents that she would not get married until she gets a proper education. She left home and got admission in a school in Delhi. Initially, her parents refused to pay the fees but later agreed because Santosh threatened them that she would work part-time to pay the fees.

Santosh passed her high school and got admission in Maharani College in Jaipur. Her room in the Kasturba hostel faced the Aravalli hills. She used to see some villagers going up the hills and then disappearing after some time. One day, she checked herself to know where the climbers were disappearing. She found that those people were mountaineers. They motivated Santosh to take interest in climbing.

Santosh was a determined girl and she took admission in Nehru Institute of Mountaineering without informing her parents. In Uttarkashi, Santosh went on expeditions every year. She developed climbing skills and an amazing immunity to cold and high altitude. Her hard work and determination led her to climb Mt. Everest, the highest peak in the world in 1992. She was only twenty years old when she first climbed Mt. Everest. Apart from her mountaineering skills, Santosh also impressed her seniors with her humanity. Her concern for others and her desire to work together as a team made her a special person.

After a year of her first success, Santosh joined an Indo-Nepalese Women’s Expedition and again climbed Mt. Everest. She became the first woman to climb Mt. Everest twice. Her achievements brought glory to her and also gave India a unique place in mountaineering. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Indian government. Santosh Yadav is not only a mountaineer but she is also an environmentalist. She collected five hundred kgs of garbage from the Himalayas.

Part II

Maria Sharapova was born in Siberia, Russia. She was a calm, confident and friendly teenager who reached the top position in only four years.

Maris’s journey towards becoming the biggest women tennis player started when she was nine years old. She went to America to get formal training. In her journey to Florida, only her father went with her. Her mother could not accompany them because of visa restrictions. She had to live without her mother for two years. She missed her mother very much and her father could not give her much time as he was earning hard to earn money for her training.

At the training centre, Maria was the youngest child and she was bullied by others. Her experience during the training period made her more determined and tough. She struggled hard and learned to take care of herself. She was determined to reach her goal so she never thought about quitting. Her strong determination and will power made her win the Women’s Single Crown at Wimbledon in 2004. In 2005, she became the number one women tennis player in the world.

Maria’s journey inspired many youngsters. She believes that all the sacrifices that she had made were worth it. Maris’s way of answering clearly indicated her confidence. For her, hard work is the mantra for success. Maria wishes to play in the Olympics for Russia because she is actually a Russian by birth. Her other hobbies are fashion, singing and dancing. She loves reading and she is very fond of evening gowns.

Maria’s talent, determination and readiness to sacrifice led her to the path of success and fame.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What Motivated Santosh for Mountain Climbing?

Ans. In Jaipur, Santosh stayed in Kasturba hostel and she could see the Aravalli Hills from her room. She saw villagers climbing up the hills and disappearing after some time. One day she decided to go there herself and found the people to be mountaineers. These people motivated her to climb mountains.

Q2. What is the Secret of Santosh’s Success?

Ans. The secret of Santosh’s success was her strong will power, great physical endurance and amazing mental toughness. Her single-minded determination and dedication helped her overcome all hurdles to become a winner. She had qualities of hard work and sincerity, which led to her success.

Q3. Why did Maria not Retaliate Against the Humiliation at the Hands of the Other Athletes?

Ans. Maria did not retaliate against the humiliation at the hands of other athletes because she was working hard to become the world’s number one tennis player. She took it as a challenge and did not let those things bother her.

Q4. How are Maria’s Achievements Significant?

Ans. Maria’s achievements were significant because she achieved the top position in world women tennis, in her teenage. Her achievement was her dream for which she worked very hard. Not only did she train but she also made many sacrifices. She suffered separation from her mother and had to go through humiliation. Even her father worked as much as he could to keep her training continued.