Motorist Aishwarya Pissay
Come hail or high water, motorist Aishwarya Pissay‘s hardy spirit simply will not back down from a challenge. Hailing from Bangalore, Aishwarya was expected to follow the predictable path towards engineering or medicine. But, knowing she was different, she went ahead and chose her own journey. Here she is now, a world champion who has made her parents and her country proud.
I started riding motorcycles as a passion. Riding gave me a sense of freedom and I felt alive every time I was on a bike. Once I had a travelled on motorcycles over a period of time, I started training at Apex racing academy for circuit racing after which I started winning championships. Due to my performance in 2017, TVS Racing signed me on as a factory racer which helped me pursue racing professionally.
I received a proper form of training for my future championships. I was initially trained to understand what navigation was and the technicality behind it. After that, my training sessions would be four to five days a week. Then there was an endurance training to develop strength and conditioning. There are cognitive games and mental conditioning to develop stability. Eventually, after all this, there is a special training depending on the country that conducts the competition. I am currently training for the world championship in 2020.
Pilot Varsha Nair
Varsha Nair is one of a few women working as a commercial pilot in India. After an arts degree, a lot of convincing, challenges and adventures, Varsha Nair followed her father’s flight path and her childhood dream to become a pilot. “My father was an Air Traffic Controller. I grew up majorly in airports authority of India quarters. Seeing airplanes take off and land was my only happiness. Dad used to take me to the tower most of the days, so I could watch it all the time. That’s how the fascination began and the passion for flying started.” she told JFW in an exclusive interview. “Flying is a career which will give you a lot of challenges everyday. I had to travel to almost all parts of the country for my training and exams. My flight school was located in a remote village near Sagar, Madhya Pradesh. Back then I couldn’t afford a flight ticket and had to travel by trains, late in the night, all alone to get there. I used to be there in my flight school everyday from 5am-7pm in the hangar waiting for a sortie. Apart from my planned one, thinking I would get an extra hour to log if someone didn’t turn up. Those struggles didn’t look challenging to me because of my hunger and passion for flying.” She says about the daily challenges she faces.
IPS officer, Roopa D Moudgil
Back in 2017, when the entire media flashed headlines about the special treatment being given to Sasikala in the Bengaluru Central Prison, the name of a woman cop caught the spotlight for having been fearless enough to expose these discrepancies. That fearless cop was none other than D Roopa Moudgil, the then DIG (Prisons) who is currently serving as the first woman Home Secretary of Karnataka!
While pursuing her graduation and post graduation in psychology and sociology she continued to be part of NCC and also kept preparing for the UPSC exams. She cleared the exams with flying colours and got the All India 47th rank in the UPSC exam and was allotted her home cadre. Even during the police training she came 5th in her batch training alongside the boys in the activities. Sharp shooting became her forte, and she dominated all the competition therein.
Her gritty spirit and active energy was too distinct to go unnoticed. Naturally, she was entrusted with the most challenging of postings, and each one of them only made Roopa tougher. She consistently worked on the principle that no one, not even a powerful politician, is above the law.
Boxer Nikhat Zareen
At only 24, Nikhat Zareen, is already a dominant force inside the boxing ring and a strong role model outside. Born in Nizamabad of Telangana, Nikhat entered this sport thanks to her father.During a casual walk with her father Nikhat crossed a boxing field and asked her father why there are only boys in the class. “Girls don’t have guts” replied her father. Her passion for the sport started as a way to prove her father wrong. That girls are equally strong as boys and can fight. Initially trained by him, she was later mentored by IV Rao, and was initiated into the Sports Authority of India in Vishakhapatnam.
Social Worker and Motivational Speaker Malavika Iyer
While most injuries leave behind a mark, a few leave behind a legacy. The story of Malvika Iyer, a 30-year-old amputee is one such. A social worker, a Ph.D. scholar, an international motivational speaker, a disability rights activist, a Global Shaper and so much more, giving up was never an option for Malvika. At the age of thirteen, she lost both her arms and greatly injured her legs in a bomb blast. She was bedridden for eighteen months, but that didn’t stop her from advancing in life. She emerged as a state topper in her tenth grade which was a shock to many considering she was in the hospital the entire time of preparation. This was not the only time that she would be surprising people; it was just the beginning of a long successful and inspiring journey of Malvika Iyer. Travelling across the globe to give motivational speeches today, she is a spark to a million flames.
Joint Director of the Fire and Rescue department, Priya Ravichandran
She stays confident, beams with enigma and most of all, she is a superwoman who saves lives of people, literally. This courageous fire officer elaborates on her journey which may sound heroic but not without immense struggle, motivation, and support.
Where it all started:
Priya has always known that she wanted to be a part of the Government. Her petite frame doesn’t quite match her job, and she laughs saying, “Though I had that inclination since childhood I never really did anything like joining the NCC or being an active participant in sports, to take it forward. In truth, I was the dainty sort, being more interested in dance and drama.” Hailing from a conservative family she adds, “My father is my strongest support system as he has always backed me in whatever I aspired to do. He was unique himself. In my community, he was probably one of the very first Chartered Accountants. We both loved breaking the glass ceiling. He was by no means hesitant to send me to JNU, Delhi for my higher studies, a very rare thing in those days. She worked towards her intent only after she went to Delhi for her higher studies, completing her Masters and M. Phil in Sociology, while simultaneously preparing for the UPSC and TNPSC exams.