THE ANNUAL women’s car rally organised by the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) has taken a step forward this year with an all-woman crew organising it. More than 600 women, including 100 participants, will be part of the rally, which is in its sixth year. The rally, which will be held on April 7, will start from Worli and finish at Aamby Valley City, covering a distance of about 150 km.
“This is the first-time ever that a car rally is being completely organised by women,” said Nitin Dossa, Executive Chairman, WIAA. “The rally advocates legislations and policies for women’s empowerment and their working rights and even the medical team on site will comprise only women,” he added.
Bearing the torch for women’s rights at the event is race driver and pilot Sneha Sharma, who earlier this month finished second at the Malaysia Speed Festival, being the only Indian woman on the grid that included 70 cars. “I am really excited to be part of this rally as it gives women a chance to send out a message,” said Sharma. “I was always interested in racing and motor-sport and have used my career in aviation to fund my motor-sport career. I started off go-karting when I was very young and I have come a long way,” she added.
Speaking of the message the rally sends out, Smita Dandekar, Chairperson, WIAA Women’s Rally, said, “The participating cars shall carry messages of road safety and women’s rights which is really the need of the hour. It is great to see so many women not just participating but also helping one another and first timers about how to go about things such as driving on the highway, navigating to the destination and much more. Any woman with a driving licence can and should participate.”
WIAA has also been working closely with women in Mumbai’s slums, teaching them how to drive, unlocking job opportunities. “Today’s woman is no longer a dependent soul and is capable and self-reliant in every respect,” said Dossa.