FEMALE SPORTS PERSONS WHO NEED TO BE RECOGNIZED
Born to an officer of IAF, this current Indian women cricket captain started playing at the age of 10 and was picked for the Indian team at a tender age of 17. Raj has played both Test and One Day cricket matches and led the team to their first World Cup final in 2005. In 2006, she led the team to their first Test and series victory apart from the Asian Cup victory. She received the Arjuna Award in 2003.
Born in Haryana in 1991, this talented player started playing at the age of 12. At the age of 14, she was the youngest on the squad which represented India in the 2006 World Cup. She became the captain of the Indian hockey team in 2011 and under her captainship, the team bagged the third position in the 2013 Asia cup and 2014 Asian games. She is currently working with the Haryana police.
Former captain of Indian hockey team and a commonwealth gold medal winner was born in 1982 to Harpal Singh in Haryana. Born in a lower middle-class family of six, Mamta’s story should be an inspiration to everyone. She has played many national and international hockey games. She is currently working as a superintendent in the Haryana police force.
She is an athlete. She has won two medals in 2011 Athens Special Olympics. Beyond this, she has been largely forgotten. She now sells gol gappas in a ghetto. The cash prizes which she was supposed to win never came her way. She has been completely neglected by the government post her victory. She now has to struggle to make ends meet.
She won team gold in South Asian Archery Championship, 2008, in Jamshedpur, silver for an individual event at the same tournament, a team bronze in Asian Grand Prix, 2008, in Bangkok and team silver in Asian Championship, 2007, in Taiwan. Her story is that of riches to rags. She had to sell her archery equipment worth one lakh for two meals a day. This archer who is in her late twenties has a lot of potentials to make India proud. She is one of the many sports persons who are waiting for some incentive from the government.
Shanti is one of the many athletes who have won laurels for our country. The winner of eleven international medals was born in Kathakkurichi in Tamil Nadu. She won her first cup at the age of thirteen when she ran in her school. Born in a Dalit family, she had to struggle to make ends meet. She got her first big break when she got a scholarship from an Arts college in Pudukottai. She has never looked back since. But things went haywire when she failed the gender test in 2006. She was then stripped of her medal and has been working as a daily wage labourer since.
This 40-year-old former kabaddi player made her debut for Bihar in the 25th national kabaddi championship. She has represented her state in more than 30 tournaments since. She served as the captain from 1983-84. She also won a silver medal in the Guwahati national kabaddi league. But her achievements have been long since forgotten. She now sells vegetables in Jamshedpur to make ends meet. Numerous job promised by politicians and bureaucrats have gone in vain.
She was a gold medallist in the National Weightlifting Championship in 1996. Her life has since been a spiralling spree into poverty. Rani has done the country proud by winning a bronze in Asian senior and junior championships, silver in 1995 National Championship and gold in the same event in 1996. Every job promise made to her by the government has met a dead end.
The above-mentioned people are just a few of the many sports persons who are struggling to earn a living. Their achievements have not been recognized and the government has not provided them with any incentives. Most of them come from poor family backgrounds and need some support to train for a particular sport. Such talents need to be recognized, nurtured and supported.
People of our country took to the public humiliation of Maria Sharapova when she told that she doesn’t know about Sachin Tendulkar. What about all these people who in spite of winning tens of medals have to do menial jobs to make ends meet?? Every sport should be given equal importance. Every sports person works really hard to become what they are today. But it is these people from poor backgrounds who need support.
In most cases they cash prizes promised to these players have not been given. Players like Meenakshi Rani have gone to the extreme of committing suicide. The government has not provided them with alternate jobs for them to earn their living. Such neglect will lead to the death of new talent as well as many sports. This situation needs to change and the plight of these people should be taken notice of.
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