Highlighting Shikha Rani , figure skater, referring to her as an ‘Epitome of Resolve’ is how Microsoft demonstrated its support to the International Women’s Day , at their plush office in Gurgaon on 8 March 2017.Shikha , her sister Nitu along with Virender Kumar and Raman Rekhi from SO Bharat were invited at the program also attended by 35-40 Microsoft Senior officials at the office and 50 more from their offices across Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, connecting live through skype.
Mr Balendu Sharma Dadhich, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, opened the program introducing Shikha and speaking about his visit to Una in January 2017, also encapsulated in a blog written by him Blog
“I came back yesterday after meeting Shikha at her village Deoli. It was a memorable experience. Shikha highly impressed me with her talent, determination, innocence and friendly nature. Not only she is a sporting talent, she also likes to dance, cook and knit. Even though she doesn’t have fingers, she can write in a very good handwriting and can also type”- Balendu (20 January 2017)
On 8th March in the presence of Mr Alok Lall, Director, Microsoft Office Marketing and the rest of the Microsoft leadership team Balendu presented the struggles and triumphs of Shikha Rani through a PPT highlighting varied fields of her interest. He expressed his shock and intrigue at the contradictory union of her backward mountainous surroundings and selection in a sport such as figure skating, which is rarely attempted even in the modern cities. Presentation by Balendu
The members asked questions, eager to engage directly with Shikha. Her participation across multiple sports like, Athletics, Bocce, Softball was received with surprise. A comprehensive picture was presented including the structure and reach of SO Bharat, Shikha’s progress from the Coaches perspective and the tribulations faced by her family and herself through heart rending anecdotes.
Bitter memories of her parents having to hear the neighbors suggest to give away Shikha for begging (as she could do nothing better, according to them), seem to be fading in the light of a new energy and perspective emerging through sports.