This is the story of Anitha Kholay, the first woman from India to participate and win in any international car rally. Some time in Nov last year (2016), my friend Prachi, a journalist, shared Anitha’s story with me over email. Prachi knew I was looking for sports related stories and thought this might be of interest to me. And that’s how things got started. I wrote to Anitha. We then spoke and then one fine day in December I was shooting her. All of it was shot in a day in Bangalore.
Those who know little about the sports of car-rallying (like I did before I met Anitha and her husband Rupesh), you can read about APRC (Asia Pacific Rally Championship) here. To win the championship, you have to secure maximum wins in all the rounds. Each round is typically held in a different location (spanning different countries). The one in which Anitha participated was one such round, held in Johor in Malaysia. Other rounds were held in New Zealand, China, Japan and India. And that’s what Anitha is aiming to get her hand at (in one of the coming years) – to drive in all the rounds, and with a more powerful car than what she could have access to in her first international rally.
I hope the gender balance in not just motorsports, but in many other male dominated sports as well, improves. Anitha’s story is definitely a step in that direction. I wish her success in her plans for bigger wins.
PS: you can also watch my Vlog below, where I travel to Bangalore for shooting this story (and another one).