12,352.35-3.15
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Struggle not yet over for Haryana girls

From the seven Indian girls to have made the penultimate round of the Women’s Youth World Championships in Guwahati, six hail from Haryana.

ET Bureau|
Nov 24, 2017, 12.48 AM IST
0Comments
“Earlier I used to think of becoming a doctor, but after my cousin who is related to Vijender Singh told me to take up boxing, I have been enjoying every moment of this,” a visibly perky Sakshi says.
“Earlier I used to think of becoming a doctor, but after my cousin who is related to Vijender Singh told me to take up boxing, I have been enjoying every moment of this,” a visibly perky Sakshi says.
By Garima Verma

It’s strange how things change yet they remain the same. The perception might point out to Haryana being the hallowed turf for women sportspersons. For, the state has duly basked in the glory of its girls — Saina Nehwal, Geeta Phogat and Sakshi Malik to name a few. The circle of struggle, surprisingly, is not yet over for many.

From the seven Indian girls to have made the penultimate round of the Women’s Youth World Championships in Guwahati, six hail from Haryana. If Shashi (57kg) and Sakshi (54kg) could take to the gloves without much worries, their teammates Jyoti (51kg), Nitu (48kg), Anupama (81kg) and Neha (+81kg) had a lot of Dangal moments to deal with.

“For four years, there were no big tournaments in the country (due to the absence of any AIBA-recognised governing body). My father, a Chandigarh Vidhan Sabha employee, had taken a leave-without-pay for three years for my training. No medals, no money and constant criticism from other people made me want to quit boxing at times,” Nitu tells ET Sports.

Her father, Jai Bhagwan, kept her going. “The relatives used to mock me for wasting money on a daughter. But, I didn’t listen, took loan and made sure Nitu kept training,” he says. He would travel 20 km from Dhanana with her to Bhiwani every morning and wait the whole day to take her back in the evening.

Her friend Sakshi’s father went through the same toil daily, minus the relatives poking their nose. “She was a very naughty kid, always beating up her elder brother, so I had to find a way to channelise her energy. And Bhiwani being the boxing hub, it felt the right choice,” Manoj Kumar says.

“Earlier I used to think of becoming a doctor, but after my cousin who is related to Vijender Singh told me to take up boxing, I have been enjoying every moment of this,” a visibly perky Sakshi adds.

So is Shashi, who wrestled initially to keep herself fit. “It was in 2010 when I saw Saina win the CWG gold that I decided to become a sportsperson. Watching Mary Kom on TV in 2012 Olympics helped me choose boxing,” says Shashi, whose family’s armybackground readily converted into unhindered support.

But for Neha and Anupama, being girls and on the heavier side, barbs and criticism were always around the corner. “My family was always supportive but everyone else always asked me to watch my weight,” Kaithel girl Neha says. “Now the view has changed. I just want to win big tournaments now.”

Anupama had to convince her father and family for long before she was allowed to go and practice daily in Faridabad. “It was very tough for me as family was against letting me go out of the house. When he agreed, the neighbours and relatives started saying that his decision will make their daughters also wanting to stay out of home till late,” she says. But once family support came and results followed, others’ views changed.

Jyoti, however, could not even dare to dream aloud. “I would sneak out of the home under one pretext or another and practice. Our sarpanch gave me boxing gloves and we would practice at the makeshift academy on his land,” she says. It was only a year later, when she earned a chance to represent the district at state championships that her parents found out and were expectedly furious. “The sarpanch convinced them and now that I’ve won medals at international tournaments, they seem to be coming at terms with their daughter being a boxer,” she adds. “They might even come for my semifinal fight (on Friday).”

And, hopefully the wheels of change might also save the other girls the fight before the real fight.
Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service