Andhra Pradesh-based journalist Kuragayala Sarada has become the first vegan woman from India to have climbed Mount Kilimanjaro — the tallest mountain in the African continent and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.
Coming from a small town in Guntur district of the state, Kuragayala made it to the summit on a completely plant-based diet. “The whole trek was an exciting experience. I got to learn a great deal about the culture and people here. This trek wouldn’t have been successful without everyone who helped me back home and here,” Kuragayala said in an Instagram post.
44-year-old Kuragayala, who works as a broadcaster currently, moved to Hyderabad to pursue a course in journalism after completing intermediate. A vegan for ethical and environmental reasons, she aims to promote this lifestyle through her expeditions.
“I decided to become a vegan once I understood the torture that animals are subjected to in the dairy, meat, leather and wool industries. But there are things other than the pain and suffering of an animal that pushed me to stick to a vegan diet. We need veganism because it aids in a better environment. It helps in reducing carbon emissions, better land and water management, and helps attain a rich biodiversity,” she added.
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In a fundraising campaign poster released around March this year, she had said, “I will use this recognition to spread awareness around veganism, animal welfare and sustainable living practices.”
In her social media post, Kuragayala urged everyone to turn vegan. She said, “Take it slow. You don’t have to quit everything at once. Take one step at a time. Even a small change matters and adds up to a bigger cause.”