28-12-2017 10:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Female stunt rider crushes all odds under her wheels
Anam Hashim, India’s only professional female street bike freestyle athlete wishes to open an academy for aspiring stunt riders. She is ready to face all challenges and wants to become a role model to women and help them see and explore the world by opening the academy.
The 22-year-old was the only Indian delegate from the motorbiking fraternity at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 held in Hyderabad. Anam, who hails from Lucknow made India proud when she became the only Indian female rider to bag the third prize at the Gymkhana Stuntride Competition Series 1 at Jakarta, Indonesia in May.
Anam has won many accolades for her rides and stunts on bikes.She first shot to fame when at the age of 20, she rode solo to the world's third highest motorable pass, Khardung La on a scooter in 2015 and entered the record books as the youngest Indian woman to do so.
The extraordinary feat captured the attention of adventurers in the country and she became a celebrity overnight. Even before that, she had garnered a lot of popularity on social media, thanks to her stunt videos that went viral on various websites.
The daredevil said that the thrilling sight of boys doing stunts on bikes inspired her to become a stunt biker. Since her school days, she was drawn to adventure sports and started researching on adventure biking when she was 15. She soon began performing a lot of stunts and was motivated by the cheer of the spectators.
However, she had to wait for a long time to own her bike as she had to face many odds including some from her family who didn’t approve of her career choice. As she was the first female biker to enter the fray, she had to depend on altered bikes as it was difficult to get stunt bikes and was cheated by mechanics too often.
Many a time, she would just go on rides so that she didn’t lose her confidence. She realized that fitness is the key to survival and began focusing on workouts. She was optimistic and waited for good opportunities to come her way in this male-dominated sport.
While her parents wanted to send her to Pune to study engineering, Anam bought her first stunt bike in 2013 started pursuing my goals.
She laments that stunt riding is still in a very nascent stage in India. There is lack of facilities like proper ground for practice. Unlike in the West, where the sport has a vibrant scene, stunt riders hardly find any support in India. Parents are also reluctant to send their kids for stunt riding. To add to it, injuries are a part and parcel of the sport. One needs to be very vigilant on Indian roads.
Anam, however, looks on the brighter side and believes that the scenario will change and more youth will take up stunt riding in the country. She praised the Union government’s move to encourage women entrepreneurs through its start-up programmes. She herself launched a start-up that has been recognized by the government as an innovative and path-breaking one in the field of stunt riding.