Cycling is powerful and it is empowering. Cycling promotes gender equality. Cycling is a way of expression and it opens up a plethora of opportunities. One can connect with new people around and enjoy nature whole-heartedly to one’s content.

And scale new heights in their careers by gaining the best of fitness levels. It is important that one must stay disciplined and keep an eye on the goal. Cycling aids in developing a strong physical and mental balance and boosts decision making capabilities.

A case in point – Saachi Koppikar a graduate in Architecture and a member of ‘West Coast Riders’ – a Mumbai based cycling club; has taken the unfamiliar career path by joining the Indian Army. Typically, it is unusual to find women getting into male-centric professions. But her brave decision sets an inspiring instance for all other members of the club and society at large.

The girl who has set the right precedent says “After making two unsuccessful attempts, I am excited to get selected by the Indian Army and will be commencing my training soon. It is an honor and a moment of pride for me and my family”.

Joining armed forces requires par excellence mindset and a strategic thinking approach besides physical endurance.

“It was tough to clear the physical training exam but regular cycling helped me built good stamina and confidence to clear the test comfortably” adds Saachi.

Common Woman:

Today’s ride was dedicated to Saachi to facilitate and wish her the best of luck from all her co-riders. The ride culminated at the famous R.K. Laxman common man statue located at Worli Sea-face.

The statue is a symbol of ordinary people achieving extra-ordinary endeavors. Created in 1951, it represents the hopes, aspirations and troubles of an average Indian.

The famous cartoonist, illustrator and a humorist is best known for his daily feature of a ‘Common Man’ in Times of India newspaper. Besides creating illustrations on current affairs, politics and economy, R.K. Laxman also used satire to highlight women’s predicament in India – a land of contradictions and paradoxes. There are several statues erected in Mumbai mostly in the colonial era. However, none represents the Common Woman.

Photo credits: Christoper Pereira

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Author: Vijay Malhotra, Mumbai


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