When you first meet model-actor Sandhya Shetty, she comes across as just another pageant winner turned actor. However, this dusky beauty from Mumbai, is everything you don’t expect her to be. Sandhya is a package of beauty, brawn and brains. We were pleasantly surprised to see her dedication and perseverance towards her campaign ‘No Fear’.
Many felt I am here only for the media or publicity. Honestly, I am here to tell women that no one has the right to live in fear.
For the uninitiated, Sandhya is a gold medalist at the eighth edition of the Commonwealth Karate Championship 2015. She is trained in martial arts and though her sleek body looks better on a film poster, this leggy actor prefers to kick, punch and break bricks. Sandhya is working on a campaign titled No Fear where she wants to promote self-defense and self-reliance among women. “Many felt I am here only for the media or publicity. Honestly, I am here to tell women that no one has the right to live in fear. I want everyone on his planet to be able to live fearlessly,” says Sandhya, who is awaiting the release of her film Woh Ek Mulaqat.
Always inclined towards sports and a tomboy during her teens, Sandhya was often complimented for her looks and intelligence. “Somewhere I was craving to be known as a strong person. It was only post my modeling career I decided to take up Karate. I accompanied my friend during his training session. The trainer was hitting the guys with bamboos. It is a process. I instantly knew this is what I had to do. I immediately enrolled and within a year I was winning competitions,” smiles the literature graduate.
Somewhere I was craving to be known as a strong person. It was only post my modeling career I decided to take up Karate
Initially, people felt she won’t be able to stick around for long. They expected her quit in a year or two. “I wasn’t expected in the field of Karate. They felt I was here for the publicity. Now that I am well past all of this, I want to make an impact through it.” Sandhya believes the government needs to intervene and introduce self-defense as a compulsory subject from classes as young as kindergarten. “We need to have this awareness at the grass-root level. This will help women become strong physically and mentally by default.” She insists that this is no gimmick and she could demonstrate for those in doubt. “I can kick and punch any given person. This is possible because of the right training and awareness. This is what every woman across India needs to have.