The old adage “why should boys have all the fun?” holds especially true for women of the Dawoodi Bohra community. Not ones to be left out of fun, games, and adventure, they are always up for a challenge, always willing to try new things, and always willing to be a part of engaging activities.
If you ever thought women can’t drive, Dawoodi Bohra women proved that they are not just good drivers, but also sharp minds as well. In a treasure hunt organised by the Talebaat in Kolkata, women came together for an activity that saw them drive from one point to the next, solving clues, along the way that led them to famous landmarks across the city.
The treasure hunt, which was organised by Nafia Totanwala was a resounding success. Dawoodi Bohra women from the age of 18 right up to the age 0f 60 were thrilled to be a part of the event, says Nafisa. She also stated, that on seeing the response, and the enthusiasm of the women, as well as their ability to do everything in a rida, impressed Turbo motors, the sponsor of the event.
Dawoodi Bohra women also took great pride in completing a series of sports and activities, which to an outsider might seem impossible for them to do. They not only played volleyball in their ridas, but also went zip lining, walked across the Burma bridge, did the commando walk, and climbed up trees using a net.
Through such activities, Dawoodi Bohra women not just shut down claims that they are backward and patriarchal, but also busted the myths that their ridas limit their movement. Backing these claims is Alefiya Rangwala who says that ever since she started wearing her rida, she has never once felt that there was anything she could not do. A member of the local sports club in Kolkata, she regularly plays badminton wearing her rida. She also says that wearing her rida earns her equal parts amusement, and appreciation for how she does everything in it, with ease.
Zainab Rangwala too is staunch in her belief, that Dawoodi Bohra women can do everything in their ridas. When the treasure hunt and adventure sports activities were announced, there was never an iota of doubt in her mind that she will not be able to excel at them. “Our rida is not a hindrance of any sort. Whether we are playing a sport, or working at an office, wearing our rida, is akin to being a part of our skin” she says.
Fatema Husein, a longtime member of the Talebaat, is of the firm belief that whoever thinks that sports and adventure are only meant for boys, is narrow-minded. As she rightly says, “As women are mentally stronger than men, and we use this to our advantage during such activities. Through this, we can show the world that we are not what it seems, and there is definitely more than what meets the eye.”