This international women’s day let’s talk about some fun across the kitchen of India where mothers are supporting their daughters to do something first in the family and on court.
When I got married and my husband got to know that I am a sports freak, he was happy but at the same time he was surprised. Same thing happens when we share with our father or family that we want to become a sportsperson instead of housewives, bankers, govt. employees or just an ordinary girl. Many aspirants’ hopes die under father’s scolding, society ill-treatment, non-supportive environment or lack of facilities but very few blossom to become Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, Mithali Raj, PV Sindhu, Arunima Sinha, MC Mary Kom, Heena Sidhu, or Geeta Phogat.
“Hamari bitiya khel nahi khelegi”(our girl won’t play sports), many father have said the same categorically when they heard of their daughter asking for permission. “Kyun nahi, use pasand hai” (why not, she loves it!) retorted mother from kitchen on behalf of her daughter. Another objection in high volume from father and the aspiration dies, as it often happens inside an Indian household. But those who made it against all odds are the names registered in the Indian Sports History. The Gender Equality, an important attribute of the Olympic Agenda 2020 is not so easy in practice for the girls from Indian society.
In last decade or so, things have turned in favor of Indian women in sports. Women are ranking number one in sports and from business standpoint women sportspersons are commanding revenue as brand ambassadors. There are countless names in the list that are showing that sports can be lucrative and viable career option for women even if you are married or having children. This would have been unheard decade ago.
You can’t compare the challenges faced by woman in her professional career with men, in a male dominated society such as ours. When a boy is out playing no one ask her mother or father but when a girl seek a career everyone would come and ask “why are you sending your girls out?” these instances are devastating for family who are in favor of their girls playing for India.
While most of the athletes retire at mid-thirties, at an age when regular office going employees begin peaking this makes sports a tricky trade. The race against times for women athlete is difficult as it have to cut short due to marriage or maternity leaves. Time has come to give due credit to our women athletes and reverse the saying that “behind every successful man is a woman”.