A martial arts expert who competes in tournaments around the world, a district-level swimmer who’s usually the oldest competitor at events and an 18-year-old who sells newspapers at Dadar station, while studying for her board exams, to support an ailing aunt. These are some of the heroes that radio station Fever 104 FM is celebrating all this month. And all these heroes happen to be women.
“We wanted to felicitate women, using their life stories to inspire others,” says Sonia Parasnis, programming head, Mumbai, Fever 104 FM. To do that, the team broadcast calls for nominations to the Dabangg Force, wherein listeners called in with names of women with the most inspiring stories, of which 10 were finally selected. “These women have not allowed anything to slow them down,” says Parasnis.
Till Women’s Day on March 8, the chosen ladies will be featured on air and their life struggles and triumphs will be discussed on the station all day long.
RJ Anuraag Pandey will interview them during his breakfast show at 9 am and other RJs will run excerpts from the show during the day.
“After the Delhi gang rape , we wanted to do something for women and encourage them to speak out against all the harassment, abuse and teasing that they face,” says Parasnis. “Hopefully, airing these stories will inspire women to do just that.”
The housewife and mother has won several medals in Filipino martial arts. When she couldn’t find funding from the government to enter international competitions, Sethi petitioned private firms and proved herself by winning accolades.
She’s ridden a bike in freezing temperatures at heights of 18,000 feet, she has swum against strong currents in the Yamuna and even tried her hand at the Paralympics — all without using her lower limbs. Mallik is a paraplegic mother of two, who was left unable to use her legs after a she developed a spinal tumour 12 years ago. But this hasn’t stopped her from living an adventurous life.
Coming from a liberal family — her mother rode a horse in a Navvari sari and played kabaddi — helped shape Pathare’s strong personality. Overcoming a bad accident, where doctors had to insert a screw in her ankle, she learned swimming at the age of 43 and now competes successfully at District-level meets.
She has weathered a violent marriage, campaigned for women’s rights and been a beacon of hope for abused women for many years now. Agnes has been involved in several high-profile cases —including the ban on bar dancers — and has written books on the topics of gender and law reforms. She is also the director at Majlis, a centre that provides legal services to women.
She’s only 18, but Rawool has faced more adversity than many of us have seen in our lives. After her parents passed away, leaving her orphaned as a child, she started peddling newspapers to support herself and now owns a newspaper delivery unit outside Dadar station. She’s also supporting an ailing aunt, while studying for her HSC board exams.
The fearless Khanolkar is the editor of a crime magazine — one that her father started 25 years ago. He was shot at for writing investigative stories in the publication. Despite her father’s tragic death, she decided to restart the magazine, Khatarnak, at the tender age of 15. Over the years, it has gained momentum because of her hard work and dedication.