In the last few years, the subject of women empowerment has enticed the interest of people all over the world and especially in India. This in turn stands as witness to the deplorable conditions of women all over the world but more so in India and other developing countries.
There have been wide inequalities between men and women in various fields for a long time. Various perceptions have acted as a huge barrier when it comes to women making a choice of what they aspire to be. But in today’s changing times, women have stepped successfully in male dominated areas and are representing the country at international levels, especially in sports.
“The involvement of women in sports is slow and gradual. There needs to be a tremendous boost from the government, which isn’t very evident presently. A holistic plan needs to be put in place. During one of my travels in India, I met a National Archery gold winner who was selling daily items and struggling to find means to lead a decent life,” said Parijat Chakraborty, Executive Director and Head of Ipsos Public Affairs, India.
No society can flourish in a one-legged manner. Both have to work in tandem and create a sustainable development. The success of Sakshi Malik and P.V. Sindhu is remarkable because they stand out in an oppressive society for women; their battle is also against a disheartening history in sport for the country.
At a more grassroot level, mental strength, sporting-spirit and the confidence to stand-up is being initiated and supported. Research shows that girls between the ages of 11-18years are prone to an undesirable environment around them. With an aim to improve this, Book My Smile has organised self-defence workshops to for girls to aid them in changing times. “By and large sports have been under-exploited and further less for women. It doesn’t feature in their top 10 list and are kept at the other end of the stick. Awareness programmes need to begin at the grassroot level. Women need to be part of the sporting world and can surely add value to male dominated areas and more,”said Farzana Cama Balpande, Head – BookASmile.
Battle in the face of adversity is a romantic metaphor for the struggles women have to face in every sphere of life in India. The confinements placed on them by a patriarchal system, has mainly tended to distance them from the sporting arena. This is why it is heartening to see Sakshi Malik and Sindhu respond with a never-say-die attitude. A lesson in fortitude.
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