A Woman With An Unmatchable Spirit – Rishika Choudhary – Celebrating Womanhood Of IMT Ghaziabad
This is the story of a girl with grit and determination, who would go on to fight the odds and come out victorious. She belongs to a small town in Rajasthan and till the end of her high school she was in a class of 7 students, 5 of them being guys. So the phrase “Girls are weaker than boys” was something she had never heard of as her friend circle was always of guys and she would ride along with her male mates on each and every prank they played, or any mischief they did. Shifting through Hindi and English medium schools did not alter her approach towards life. Her parents played a major role in strengthening her belief towards equality of both the genders and never to feel intimidated. Rishika proudly owes her determined and independent attitude towards life to her parents especially her father.
Life post school turned rosy but only because of the hard work that was put in by her. This independent girl excelled in studies, co-curricular, and, became the first girl in the history of her college, to not only become an integral part of what was exclusive to boys, National Cadet Corps but also convinced and led a team of 8 girls to a training camp. This initiative encouraged the college authorities to permanently start the NCC training for girls too, an achievement she is proud of.
Be it her difficult times in school or college she was always a go-getter. Even today while pursuing PGDM from IMT Ghaziabad she shows passion in what she does. She is an integral part of the Sports Committee and has participated in numerous B-school competitions as well.
What was the high school like for you? How did it contribute to your personality/ the person you are right now?
For me, it was all fun and frolic. I went to a Hindi medium school. My class consisted of 7 kids; 5 of them boys. So, naturally, I had more friends from the opposite sex. It added a lot of traits to the personality I am today. I am bold, vivacious and unafraid. I would match them at any prank or mischief they could think of. I did not think of myself as the “weaker section of the society” I didn’t think I was any different from them. Coming from a place where women aren’t educationally aspirational or are married off early, having guy friends taught me to be competitive and a rebel. I wouldn’t conform to societal norms.
If money was no object, what would you do all day?
I would be spending all my time with kids less fortunate than me. It is distressing to see children beg on street corners, work at hazardous places for their daily bread.
What advice would you give to a 5-year-younger you?
Leave the “herd mentality” behind, stop following the crowd, focus on goals and carve your own niche. The advice I would give is “Why follow examples when you can lead by examples”.
How do you think women are better equipped to deal with problems as compared to men?
In my personal capacity, I believe women are better decision makers and problem solvers because they know how to strike that perfect balance between being emotional and practical, both in thought and practice. Men, usually, being the practical lot may not come up with solutions to problems which require an emotional outset.
Many IIMs and other b-schools award extra points for being a woman. What is your take on that? Do you propagate the concept OR Have you faced any backlash for the same?
I think they should award brownie points. Though I recognise how incorrect and biased it looks, but still in a country where women have not been given equal opportunity to study/work as compared to men, these points would go a long way. Female CAT takers are far and few, so with those extra points, it will help them get into IIMs and inspire other girls to do the same. We can stop the practice after some years when the said goal is achieved. Moreover, in any college, the male-female ratio is of utmost importance. It provides well-rounded, holistic education. In fact, I think in every field or institution there should be a balance between men and women. If there were fewer males in a sector, brownie points to them then. I strongly believe in co-education.
Name one incident that you encountered where someone told you, you couldn’t do something because you’re a woman.
My dad is a father to 3 girls. And innumerable times my father has been advised to marry us off to do away with his fatherly duties. But fortunately, my dad never treated us girls and my brothers, differently. Secondly, my attitude and demeanour discourage people from saying such things to me.
If you are out on a date, do you prefer to pay yourself? If you insisted that you want to pay for yourself, how did the other person react?
Many times I have preferred to pay. And this has elicited different responses from people. Some of them contributed later, while some of them happily accepted my treat and some denied firmly in front of the waiter and later outside the restaurant and to my surprise asked for my share.
About the Author:
Archit Kacker is a student of Marketing, of the two-year full-time AICTE approved and AACSB accredited residential PGDM programme at Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. He is the coordinator of the Public Relations, Information and Social Media (IMTeam PRISM) committee at IMT Ghaziabad. His areas of interest include mythology, politics, social causes, sports, current affairs and general issues etc. He is an avid follower of the question-and-answer site Quora. He has over 5,00,600 views on his answers.