CHENNAI: When I was 12 years old, I was given Rs 5 every day as pocket money. I would save that money and take my neighbour’s bike for a spin. Since affording petrol was a luxury for the family, I would gas up his petrol for Rs 20 and return his bike. That’s how it all started,” says Soundari Sindy, biker, racer, and founder of Biker Babez, an all-women biking group in Chennai.
Talking to DT Next about how she ventured into motorsports, she says, “Motorsports in India, especially in Chennai, to date remains to be a very alien concept. I didn’t know that a sport designated just for bikes existed for a very long time. I started attending drag races and circuit races in the city just to see how it all works.”
After learning and understanding the intricacies of racing, Sindy decided to try it out herself. Starting with local races in the city, she went on to participate in two National Championships and one national-level drag race.
Sindy also participated in several races that were both challenging and physically exhausting. She covered 5,800 kms in 118 hours and survived on little to no sleep to complete the pursuit. “It was very difficult but the only thing that kept me going was that I needed to do this and the passion to make a name reminded me why I started,” she says.
In 2013, Sindy founded Biker Babez, which is an all-women biking community in the city that indulges in several social activities. “When I started racing and attending local races more frequently, I wanted to get in touch with people who shared the same passion as I did. And so I went on Facebook and started the page ‘Bike Babez’. People began getting in touch with me and our small community has grown into a huge family.
“Everyone in the group is very passionate about giving back to the community and that passion is combined with our love for biking. It is very gratifying on the whole,” she says. In 2019, Sindy was disturbed by the sudden rise in sexual assault cases against children and wanted to spread awareness. “The reality shook the very ground I stood on. The fact that several parents weren’t teaching their children ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ really disturbed me.
“I took it upon myself and decided to spread awareness nationwide. I started my journey from home and travelled 16,210 kms in 42 days. I took a solo trip to 28 states and 5 union territories. I would pit stop at local, schools, colleges, and anywhere people gathered and explain what ‘good touch’ and ‘bad touch’ was.”
Sindy says that there were times when she didn’t know the local language and would take a local who knew English and have them translate whatever she was saying.
In 2016, Sindy and her husband, Ananthraj P, founded AS Motorsports, a motorsports training centre in the city. “Racing is meant to be done in a closed space and with control. It’s not meant to be done recklessly on the roads where it’s dangerous for other people.”
The centre is training kids as young as 8 with a 50cc bike. “We don’t have many representatives to represent our country in international championships. I aim to change that for our country,” Sindy concludes.