Razia Mushtaq, Gandebal’s first woman gym owner, has broken stereotypes with her choice of career. Razia, a law graduate successfully broke the taboos to become the first female fitness trainer and gym owner in her district.
Razia hails from Kangan area of Ganderbal her story is a tale of overcoming personal and social challenges and following her heart to own an exclusive gym. She is running ‘313 Fitness Club’ gym in Kangan.
Razia says that women here hesitate from joining a fitness centre. “I felt that women here hesitate from joining a fitness centre because gyms here in Kashmir are most probably meant for men folk. That made me think that a female-only gym would be a great thing where women can join whenever they want throughout the day,” says Razia.
Razia had faced a lot of challenges and criticism in starting up the gym centre, but she didn’t take them seriously. She said that convincing her family about this concept was not a big challenge for her. “We come from a conservative society, but still my parents were not that much reluctant. The love and cooperation of my parents and brothers gave me the courage to move forward with confidence. All this was possible only because of their continuous support,” she said.
The bigger struggle for Razia was to find women who were interested in visiting the gym at the beginning. She remained consistent and didn’t lose her heart which finally yielded results. Razia presently has more than 50 women visiting her gym every day.
“Exercise keeps us fit and protects us from many diseases. I’m feeling happy to take this step for many women who are going through health disorders, obesity, and depression issues. I keep on motivating women to achieve good health and brain positivity. I opened this gym center so that the women folk pay attention to their health,” she said.
Zubaida, who just joined Raziya’s gym a few days back, said that she was upset due to her health.
“I was not comfortable in joining a gym because they have male instructors, but when I heard about this gym which is for females. I was so excited to join and now I am very comfortable here. I am thankful to Razia, who is running this centre,” she said.
“Kangan village is a remote area of the Ganderbal district where people are mainly engaged in agriculture and other activities of manual labor where people do not get the good platform they should get,” Razia said.
“In Kashmir, we must have a female fitness centre in every district. I appeal to the government that they should assist females in opening up fitness centres across the Kashmir Valley,” she said.
With her efforts to help women, their gym has become a popular base for all in Just one week those seeking fitness in Kangan area.
She urged people that Be firm. Don’t choose any career without thinking. Learn about it and choose it consciously. Always have full faith in yourself. Choose a career in which you are so happy that you never feel that you are just working to make a living. Your job pleasure for you.