Volume 2 Issue 9 - May 01, 2004

Disabled teenager conquers North Pole

DNIS News Network -- A 15-year-old disabled Polish boy has become the youngest teenager to walk unaided to the North Pole on April 21.

Accompanied by a veteran polar explorer, Jan Mela walked to the North Pole without any help. Expedition leader and fellow Pole Marek Kaminski, was the first man to reach both poles in one year on foot and unsupported.

Jan Mela, who was fitted with artificial limbs after losing an arm and leg in an electrical accident in 2002, was determined to overcome his disability. "If I can do it, other people can do great things, too," he said before setting out on the expedition.

In fact, Mela has achieved more than any so-called able-bodied boy of his age as, in addition to being the first handicapped person to walk to the North Pole, he is also the youngest person to make the journey unaided.

The unusual expedition began to take shape after the teenager met Kaminski and expressed a desire to see the North Pole. Kaminski, who has links with several charities, agreed to accompany Mela on his quest. It took the pair 21 days, including three of bad weather conditions, to reach the North Pole.

"I didn't think we could make it," Mela said, "but then things got better."

Logo of Disability News and Information Service (DNIS)

N.C.P.E.D.P. Logo (External Website) DNIS is produced and managed by:
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People

Screening Guidelines to be followed by CISF Security Staff for Passengers with Disabilities at Indian Airports

Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill

Mental Health Care Bill

CRPD Monitoring Report

National Policy

20 Stories of Change(book)

Press Release




Additional Links

Disability News and Information Service is produced and managed by:

N.C.P.E.D.P. Logo
National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People (External Website)

C-43, South Extension, Part - II,
New Delhi 110 049, India
Tel: 91-11-26265647, 26265648
Fax: 91-11-26265649
Website: (External Website)