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How a Kerala girl broke barriers to enter Formula racing

Salva Marjan. Image Credit: Special Arrangement

Defying conventions and challenging stereotypes, a young Muslim girl from Kerala has shattered barriers to make a groundbreaking entry into the male-dominated world of international Formula racing league.

After proving her mettle in different racing circuits and qualifying, Salva Marjan of Perambra in Kozhikode is now preparing for the Formula 4 UAE championship and is aiming to compete in higher-category international Formula One championships in the due course.

In an exclusive interaction with Open Digest, Salva Marjan said that she got fascinated into the world of Formula One right from her childhood days after seeing Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher compete in the racing tracks.

Salva Marjan, at the age of 24, has now become a symbol of resilience and determination, proving that dreams know no boundaries. Though she grew up in an environment where opportunities for young girls were limited, she decided to purse her passion for racing. Undeterred by societal norms, Salva’s passion for racing led her to chase it with determination.

Salva, who did her graduation in business administration, started her racing career in 2018, primarily racing in Formula LGB cars in India with machinery from Formula Ford. “It’s a fiercely competitive atmosphere demanding mental resilience and the capacity to adapt to changing conditions,” Salva told “Open Digest.”

As her family stood by her side encouraging her to pursue her dreams, Salva moved to the UAE to train her skills in formula racing. “I have been training on different tracks in India and UAE, as well as in a professional racing simulator. I am looking forward to joining the international tracks in Europe soon,” she said.

Salva’s father Chembra Panachingal Kunjamu and mother Subaida are very much proud of their daughter and are waiting to see her becoming India’s first female international Formula One racer.

Becoming a Formula racing champion representing India is her ultimate goal. Salva is really happy that she could break the barriers and enter into a male-dominant sport of Formula racing. “Gender should never limit aspirations or potential of a person. With determination and hard work, anyone can achieve their goals,” she added.

Salva’s journey is not only a personal triumph but a milestone for diversity and inclusion in the world of Formula racing. Breaking through gender and cultural barriers, she is now an inspiration for aspiring racers, especially girls, who dare to dream beyond the constraints of societal expectations.

Her achievement not only propels her into the spotlight but also opens doors for others, showcasing the limitless potential that exists within every dream.

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