“SWAEROES ten commandments”

Malavath Poorna, star of the 2015 biopic Poorna: Courage Has No Limit, scaled Cerro Aconcagua in Argentina yesterday, to become the “world’s first tribal woman to scale [the] four highest mountain peaks located in four continents.”

Pedro the airplane and Aconcagua, from Saludos Amigos (Disney and RKO Pictures, 1942).

At age 13, Poorna became the youngest woman ever to climb Sagarmatha (also known as Mt. Everest).  Now 19, she credits her success to the “ten commandments” of the Social Welfare AEROES (or “SWAEROES”) movement, following B.R. Ambedkar’s ideas to educate and empower marginalized and scheduled caste children.

The Swaeroes “ten commandments” are listed on the website of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society as follows:

  • I am not inferior to anyone.
  • I shall be the leader wherever I am.
  • I shall do what I love and be different.
  • I shall always think Big and Aim high.
  • I shall be honest, hardworking and punctual.
  • I shall never blame others for my failures.
  • I shall neither beg nor cheat.
  • I shall repay what I borrow.
  • I shall never fear the unknown.
  • I shall never give up.

(Apparently, an alternative route up Aconcagua, the Glaciar de los Polacos, was named after Konstanty Jodko-Narkiewicz, a Polish geophysicist and balloonist who led an expedition there in 1934.  Jodko-Narkiewicz studied cosmic radiation at different altitudes, contributing to what was then the new field of Raman scattering.  The early history of the Raman effect, and the emergence of Raman spectroscopy is a fascinating index of the politics of science in the 1930s.  Indian physicists C.V. Raman and K.S. Krishnan first reported the scattering effect in liquids in 1928, but the Soviet physicists Grigory Landsberg and Leonid Mandelstam had presented a paper on the same effect in crystals the day before Raman and Krishnan reported their first observations.  But the Soviets couldn’t independently verify their work to the Nobel Committee, which awarded   the prize for Physics to Raman in 1930.  Russian secondary literature continues to refer not to the Raman effect but to “combination scattering.”)

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