The world is waiting for RioOlympics to start. Some of the world’s greatest sportspersons will collaborate once again to make history. This year’s Olympics is of great importance to Indians as it will be sending the first women’s hockeyteam at the Olympics to represent the country in 36 years. These young women are all geared up to deliver their best performance and laurels of the country. Coming from different social backgrounds, they have a plethora of tales to share. Read on to know their stories and what this tournament means to them.
An escape from marriage
Getting hitched in India is considered to be the most important thing for a woman in India. Everything else takes a backseat once the marital knot is tied. Rambad, the 21 year old midfielder from Shahbad, feels fortunate to have escaped the life that most of the girls from the town are destined to live. Winning accolades in the game helped her wriggle out of the conservative society she had been living in.
A fight against patriarchy
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A lot of players in the hockey team belong to families that do not expect much from girls. In fact, one of the hockey players was discouraged to play hockey and asked to stay indoors as this would keep her protected from men. She also recalls the brutal remarks she had to hear when she picked up the hockey stick for the first time. Opposition from the male members of the family with regard to their inclination to play hockey were some of the other barriers these women faced.
An enriching journey
The players laugh at their ignorance as they didn’t have a clue of what Olympics four years ago. They used to feel uncomfortable around those from a different city. Apart from the linguistic problems, they had to grapple with a lot of other issues like the south Indian cuisine they had to eat. As time rolled by, they became the best of friends as all of them nurtured the dream of winning at RioOlympics. They enjoy shopping and playing pranks on each other. Since all the players come from varied cultural backgrounds, it is a great opportunity for them to learn a lot of things from each other.
A way of eradicating poverty
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Playing hockey and excelling at it is seen as a way to lead a better life by most of the players who slog day and night to ensure economic security for their families. Some have decided to invest their career prize in a house for her parents in Shahbad. Lilima Minz from Odisha has seen her parents sacrifice their meals to ensure that her needs were taken care of. One of the team players has also supplied milk in her locality to earn some extra income and keep her dreams alive. Such inspiring stories speak volumes of the talent and courage that young women across the country carry. Their hard work and determination to take charge of their destiny is commendable and worth imbibing.
RioOlympics haven’t commenced yet but these dynamite sportspersons have already proved their mettle by shattering stereotypes and questioning gender inequality. Such elevating stories are a great way of encouraging millions of girls across the country aspiring to opt for sports as their profession.
Charvi Kathuria is an aspiring Freelance Writer. These days, she is scrutinising everything and anything that comes her way. Reading has become her favourite past time. She calls this hobby of hers, "food for brain".