It was a crisp, cold, Friday evening. But that did not hold back Delhi’s jet-setters from being present at a unique, power-packed event at the Grand Hyatt. Reebok, the fitness brand that’s synonymous with grit and passion, paid a tribute to unsung women heroes, who had overcome social, mental and physical barriers. The first edition of the Reebok #FitToFight Awards culminated with brand ambassador Kangana Ranaut, Dave Thomas, MD, Reebok and Adidas India, and Silvia Tallon, Senior Marketing Director, Reebok India, honouring several inspiring women, who were brave enough to change the course of their destiny.
These ‘unsung women heroes’ were survivors of tough odds, including physical abuse, social trauma, disability, etc… but managed to change their destiny through courage and conviction. The night, in fact, marked the culmination of a journey that began on International Women’s Day earlier this year, with Kangana Ranaut kicking off Reebok’s ‘Be More Human’ campaign, which saw over 100 stories of tough, inspiring women being highlighted.
The actor narrated her own story, revealing details of how she fought all odds to become the ‘Queen’ of Bollywood and urged other women to come forth with their stories of courage and determination. The aim behind the campaign was to celebrate women who push themselves out of their comfort zone to fulfil their full potential and ultimately become a better version of themselves. Out of the 100 plus stories that emerged from different parts of the country, the stories of 12 women that really stood out, were selected, and the women were felicitated at the first Reebok #FitToFight Awards. Speaking on the occasion, Tallon said, “FitToFight is a state of mind and Reebok endorses the faith that every woman can fight all odds once she is at her fittest best. We salute the spirit of every woman who has faced obstacles and continue to challenge themselves daily in search of greater accomplishments.”
The list of awardees from different walks of life such as sports, media, fitness, education, politics, business and human rights include:
- Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to have won a medal at the Paralympic games in Rio this year.
- Geeta Tandon, who turned into a daredevil stuntwoman to break free from an abusive marriage.
- Bhakti Sharma, an open water swimmer, who has conquered all five oceans of the world and is the youngest person in the world to have swum in the Antarctic Ocean for 2.28 km in 41.14 minutes.
- Namrata Purohit, the youngest certified Stott Pilates instructor in the world.
- Smriti Singhal, founder of The Education Tree and the first to identify the need for holistic education in India.
- Malini Aggarwal, founder of Miss Malini Media and the doyen of Indian lifestyle blogging.
- Ishita Choudhary, the founder of Youth Parliament that influences policies on important youth-related topics like gender, sexuality, health, education, arts, and governance.
- Geetanjali Babbar and Ritumoni Das, who have been relentlessly working to better the lives of commercial sex workers through their NGO Kat-Katha.
- Zaaria Patni, who fought a bad marriage and the Indian legal system to win custody of her son. She revolutionised alimony laws that helped thousands of women.
- Chef Vijaylaxmi, a single mother who went on to become a runner-up at MasterChef India Season 2.
- Ketika Kapoor, the founder of ProEves, a pro-woman initiative that helps working mothers realise their full potential by providing end-to-end childcare services.
- Richa Kar, founder of Zivame, an online lingerie shopping portal that fights social taboos surrounding the category every day.
Revving up the high-energy event was singer Anushka Manchanda with her rendition of songs celebrating womanhood. Ability Unlimited, a dance group comprising differently-abled individuals, too enthralled the audience with a stunning performance.
The powerful personal stories and fitness journeys of the women moved actor Kangana Ranaut, herself a fighter, to a great extent. She said, “This has inspired me beyond measure and I am proud to have played a part in this campaign. I hope these stories will give wings to many other women and help them come out of their shell.”