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YFLO organised a unique program "Shattering Stereotypes”, Women in Sports, Onscreen, Beyond at T-Hub featuring three out-of-the-ordinary human beings for their outstanding achievements

Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO) organised a unique program "Shattering Stereotypes”, Women in Sports, Onscreen, Beyond at T-Hub featuring three out-of-the-ordinary human beings Dr Maral Yazarloo-Pattrick,  Iranian Motorcyclist,  Fashion Designer, Women's Rights Advocate; Ms. Michelle Kakade, Seasoned Desert Marathoner,  Limca & Guinness Holder,  India's 'Queen of Endurance' and Ms. Neha Aggarwal Sharma, Former Olympian & Table Tennis Champion and  Chief Partnerships Officer at Olympic Gold Quest

 

The three incredible women were in conversation with Ridhi Jain, YFLO Chairperson.

 

Speaking about recent controversies and dramas in sports, such as retirements due to sexual harassment, drug use and others, the former Olympian, Nehar Agarwal Sharma said the safety of women athletes is still an issue which is now a limiting factor for many parents not to encourage them to pursue sports.  But things are slowly changing, she quickly added.



Speaking about the women's sporting scenario in India, she said, it is a golden period now for Indian women. Women are doing well and are equal to men.  

 

In sports, gender is not a barrier, she added. The Paralympic Games of Paris 2024 are just a hundred days away.  Last time we got 7 medals, and this time we might reach a double digit, Neha said.


Showing an example of Archer Sheetal Devi, the limbless archer and her performance, Neha said, be humble like her and not complain.  If given a level playing field, girls will outshine boys, she added. 


Dr. Maral Yazarloo said she had to go biking the day after her marriage and returned one year later.  There are a lot of sacrifices that need to be made if you are to achieve something, she added 


Responding to a question about what safety measures she takes while biking, she said, I learnt how I measure my safety attitude.  The conditions for biking are different in different countries. For example, you will find somebody on the road all through the day and night in a populous country like India. But that is not the case with South America, where miles together you don’t find any person on the road. 


When asked her thoughts on addressing safety concerns like those related to rape cases during biking tours, and what measures she recommends, the Dr Maral Yazarloo-Pattrick, Iranian Motorcyclist, said if anyone is raped, she doesn't need a judge, don’t wait, punish him severely and immediately and finish him.  That is how my country, Iran, where I came from does.  So, every man thinks twice before making a rape attempt.  India and Iran both are my countries. I lived in Iran for 20 years and now in India for 21 years, she said. 


Ms. Michelle Kakade, a Seasoned Desert Marathoner when asked if there is any age barrier for running, she said nothing.  It is all in your mind. I did the Golden Quadrilateral, the 6000 km run at the age of 45 years.  I see many people much older than I am running and participating in many marathons. 


Responding to a question on how easy or difficult it is to get sponsorships for her runs, she said ‘how do you get sponsorship is who you know.  Sponsorship is very difficult to get for running events like mine. Cricket is an exception to this, she said.


We are not just individuals but a collective force of women entrepreneurs, each with unique dreams, aspirations, and journeys. It is an honour to address such a remarkable gathering of empowered women who are shaping the future of business and society, said Ms. Ridhi Jain giving her opening remarks.

 

Today's event, Ridhi Jain said,  holds special significance as it marks our inaugural event on breaking barriers in sports and beyond. We are privileged to host three remarkable individuals whose journeys exemplify resilience, determination, and the power to effect change in the world of sports. They'll share insights on navigating and challenging stereotypes in gender, culture, and sports.

 

Dr. Maral Yazarloo-Pattrick. Dr. Yazarloo-Pattrick is not only an Iranian motorcyclist but also a multifaceted individual, excelling in various fields including fashion design, art, marketing, and advocacy for women's rights. Her remarkable journey, including a solo world motorbiking tour across seven continents, exemplifies her dedication to challenging stereotypes and setting records for women bikers in Asia and the Middle East. She raises awareness about rape and domestic violence against women in India.

 

Neha's journey in the world of sports is nothing short of inspiring. Currently serving as the Chief Partnerships Officer at OGQ (Olympic Gold Quest), a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping Indian athletes win Olympic and Paralympic medals, she is involved in supporting and nurturing sports talent in India.

 

In the last three Olympics, OGQ supported the training of nine out of the 15 Indian medal winners, and at the Tokyo Paralympics 2020, they supported the training of 10 out of the 19 medal winners for India.

  

Ms. Neha's achievements as an athlete are remarkable. She holds the distinction of being the only female table tennis player to represent India at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She has won a gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games among others and she left an indelible mark on the world of table tennis.


Beyond her athletic pursuits, Ms. Neha is also a sports commentator and holds a Master's in Sports Management from Columbia University, New York. Recognizing her contributions to sports, Ms Neha was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi State Sports Award by Delhi State in 2009.

 

Ms. Michelle Kakade. Michelle is not just an illustrious endurance athlete but also a Limca Book of Records holder, dutiful homemaker, and loving mother of two. She epitomises the spirit of creating milestones and making things happen. She is known as the Queen of "Four Deserts" for her remarkable achievements in endurance footraces. She became the only Indian to win membership into the Elite 4 Deserts Club, a prestigious accomplishment in the world of endurance sports. The 4 Deserts series is hailed as the ultimate test of human endurance, with races spanning across the hottest, coldest, windiest, and driest places on Earth.

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