The need of powerful women Olympians to change Indian history

The Olympics in Tokyo has attracted everyone’s attention. India got maximum medals from women. Even if it is the second-most populous country in the world its rank in the medal tally comes at the bottom. Starting from Karnam Malleswari to Mary Kom and P.V Sindhu the glory was brought to India all by women. Women athletes like Mirabai Chanu, Lovlina Borgohain have shown their charm and women’s power in the Olympics. When the women’s hockey team entered the semifinals for the first time in history, it was a matter of pride for all Indians. Even if they did not get the medal but won the heart of all. Indian women have demonstrated bravery and strength from the very beginning. Is not it a good reason why India should promote women’s participation in sports?

India, being a patriarchal society has many dos and do not for women. Among all, women are not allowed to go outside of their homes, and even playing sports is taboo in many interior parts of India. Restricting the movement of women has proved to be a major obstacle to the growth of the country. Gender inequality is a big hurdle for the empowerment of women and their participation in sports. Women are ideally to participate in the private sphere which is the domestic environment and men are to be active in the public sphere which is outside the domestic environment. These gender stereotypes are not conducive to the development of the nation. This is evident from the recent Global Gender Gap Report 2021, published by the World Economic Forum where India was ranked 140 out of a total of 156 countries.

Now coming to the performance of India in international sports, we need to seriously think about why India even does not come in the top ten list of the countries to get the highest number of medals. The higher ranks are occupied by China and the USA. The Indian government needs to seriously ponder over the issue. It is the state support that is needed to increase the medal tally in Olympics. After 41 years, when the Indian hockey team entered the semi-final, it is a reality check for all the state governments that to what extent state support is required. Everyone thanked the Odisha government and chief minister Naveen Pattnaik for their efforts in sponsoring and nurturing hockey players in Odisha which is the national game of our country. Every state needs to learn from it and take one sport each to patron the players and sportsmen and sportswomen to realize the dream of being in the top list with the highest medal tally.

There is a lack of social support for women to participate in sports. Gender inequality itself is an injustice that slows the development of society and it is worth fighting for. Women themselves need to be motivated enough to continue a career in sports. Then there is a lack of infrastructural facilities to continue the practice and participate in various competitions at the national and international competitions. Every parent and teacher should encourage children to take up anyone sports activity of their liking and be experts in that field. There is a need for sports culture in India which is lacking currently.

The very same essence has been depicted in a movie called Skater girl, where a girl from a lower caste group in an interior village of Rajasthan shows great passion for skateboarding and struggles a lot in the patriarchal society to come out of the house and arranged marriage. Lastly, she learns skateboarding and plays in national level skateboarding competitions, and wins a prize despite the restriction and lack of support from family. This exposes the problems a girl faces while entering the sports field. The movie has beautifully explained how Sports gives Indian women freedom. Freedom from the restriction of the family and the society at large. Indian women need the freedom to boost their creativity, to be more powerful, to contribute towards national growth, and change Indian history.

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