PHD Chamber Women’s Car Rally 2018: Women wheeling to power

The Sports & Youth Affairs Committee at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry is organising their first-ever women Car Rally on March 30-31.

delhi Updated: Mar 27, 2018 17:36 IST
Naina Arora
Naina Arora
Hindustan Times
PHD Chamber Sports and Youth Affairs Committee Women’s Car Rally,Sports Authority of India,Beti Bachao
The rally will see two teams — an all-women team, and where a male member from one’s family can be the navigator (Picture for representational purpose only).(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

“The journey, not the destination matters,” wrote TS Eliot, and rightly so. This Friday, over 200 women participants are all set to wheel their way from the Capital City to Jaipur as part of the Sports & Youth Affairs Committee at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Women’s Car Rally being held on March 30 and 31.

Organised under the aegis of Sports Authority of India, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Govt. of India and in association with FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India), the rally that’ll cover 700kms over a span of two days, celebrates selfless efforts of women from all walks of life. And not just that, it aims to spread awareness related to women’s empowerment such as women safety, infant mortality, preventing child marriage, employment, among several others awareness campaigns (Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao initiative; breast cancer awareness) en route, and boost participation of women in motorsports.

“The idea is to celebrate and make it an enjoyable experience rallying the alleys of Haryana, Rajasthan. It’s PHD Commerce of Commerce first initiative through its Sports & Youth Affairs Committee,” says Arshad Nizam Shawl, co-chairman Sports & Youth Affairs. He adds, “We based the event on the theme — Wheeling the Women into Empowerment, and added the cause of breast cancer awareness. It’s been an amazing success, since the time we have announced it, as more than a hundred women have registered and attended workshops and seminars on calculating TDS, and road safety.”

(L-R) Brig HPS Bedi, VSM, Advisor-Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, Anuradha Goel, chairperson-PHD Family Welfare Foundation (WCD), Sita Raina, chairperson, women in motorsports, FMSCI (Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India), Bani Yadav, Indian woman car rallyist, Dr Niharika Yadav, lady super biker, Priya Hingorani, co-chairperson, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, Arshad Nizam Shawl, co-chairman Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, Karuna Shriram, co-chairperson, PHD Family Welfare Foundation (WCD), felicitated breast cancer survivors at the curtain raiser.
Such initiatives help realise one’s potential.My mother-in-law struggled with breast cancer for years and I dedicate my participation to all the brave women— Sugandha Shankar, participant

Fun coupled with adventure, TDS (Time/Speed/Distance) rally is no easy feat as it requires calculation, and puts to test car’s reliability and responsiveness, a driver’s ability and a navigator’s accuracy in interpreting specific route instructions. The rally will see two teams — an all-women team, and where a male member from one’s family can be the navigator.

Sugandha Shankar, a lawyer and a participant from Gurgaon says: “Such initiatives help realise one’s potential.My mother-in-law struggled with breast cancer for years and I dedicate my participation to all the brave women.”

Shinjini Kulkarni, granddaughter of Pandit Birju Maharaj performs during the curtain-raiser of the PHD Chamber Women Car Rally 2018.

The curtain-raiser that took place on March 5 honoured five breast cancer survivors from different walks of society. The rally supports the PHD Family Welfare Foundation and the Forum for Breast Protection, NGO (involved in spreading awareness on breast cancer prevention and its early detection). “If a woman is healthy, the family is healthy. We are promoting that women must get their check-ups done regularly. There are women in this kind of sport as well, and it’s good to encourage them,” says co-chairman, Sports & Youth Affairs Committee, Priya Hingorani, who is also participating in the rally.

“It is Brig Harinder Bedi’s initiative [Advisor, Sports & Youth Affairs at PHD Chamber of Commerce], who in the past involved in different car rallies. Right from Indian Army, Police, Air Force to women from diverse fields, the response has been amazing. Around 30 women are coming from various parts of the country,” she adds.

And how could the ceremonial flag off on March 29 at PHD House be any less exciting? Special guests include — Union road transport and highways minister Nitin Gadkari, Union minister for textiles and information and broadcasting Smriti Z Irani, K.J. Alphons minister of state (Independent Charge) for tourism along with women and child development (WCD) minister Maneka Gandhi, Dr Mahesh Sharma, minister of culture, among other dignitaries will be present to encourage the participants.

And, there’s lot of goodies to be won, too, as the rally will conclude with prize distribution ceremony on March 31 in Jaipur with Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, minister of state for youth affairs and sports (independent charge), as the chief guest.

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First Published: Mar 27, 2018 17:36 IST