Two women achieving big for nation speak well of effort and sweaty training sessions in a follow up to that feat, though it meant an unending admiration and love showered upon them by fans, civil society, government and nation as a whole but growing up for girls in a society like ours that obstructs their evolution in all possible- social and economic- ways would have never been easier.

When India with its largest ever delegation at mega event of Rio 2016 Olympics games faced fears of humiliation with zero tally count, Sakshi Malik— the wrestler— with her bronze medal just three days before the games closed, it brought a sigh of relief to whole nation and the very next day P V Sindhu— the young badminton sensation— clinched a silver to a deliver a reason to celebrate for Indian contingent and audience at home. Two women doing this for nation at that level speak well of effort and sweaty training sessions in a follow up to that feat, though it meant an unending admiration and love showered upon them by fans, civil society, government and nation as a whole but growing up for girls in a society like ours that obstructs their evolution in all possible social and economic ways would have never been easier.

 

P V Sindhu did repeat the glory, only last Sunday, battling her earlier record of falling to pressure of big finals to finally reach at best place of podium. Over the years, India has produced many fine sportswomen amidst a persisting scarcity of resources & opportunities for them. But these sportswomen have proved time and again that they are a power to reckon with by putting into their game a great hard work, subsequent thrilling performances and ultimately victorious laps of ground with national flag on shoulders. Examples are many, from P T Usha to Humpy Koneru to Karnam Malleswari to Sania Mirza to Mithali Raj Deepika Kumari to Saina Nehwal to P V Sindhu and Sakshi Malik and so on.

 

On this Sports Day, celebrated each year on 29 August as a tribute to legendry Hockey player Major Dhyanchand also known as a magician with a stick on his birth anniversary, let us recall here a few sportswomen who make the nation proud every now and then.

 

(A) P V Sindhu: This 24-year old Badminton player recently entered final of BWF World Championships held in Basel to win a medal for a record fifth time, including a gold this time. Her many firsts for India include silver medal for any female at Olympics in Rio games, Korea Open in 2017 and another silver in 2018 Asian Games and BWF World Championships in 2019. In 2017, she achieved her career best ranking of being world number two. Her breathtakingly shiny performance at BWF World Tour Finals created a history, for the feat came without losing even a single match in the group stage. Awarded with Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and fourth highest civilian award- Padma Shri, India is proud of the lady!

 

(B) Dutee Chand: The professional sprinter became a household hold for Indians, when she went to Jakarta Asian Games in 2018 to represent India after having faced a controversial ban in 2014 Asian Games and clinched two silver for country in women’s 100m and women’s 200m category— any medal for India in these categories after 32 years and 16 years respectively. Dutee Chand won gold in the 100m race at 2019 Summer Universiade, becoming the first Indian woman sprinter to do so at this event. Braving all odds, she has shown a remarkable courage to come out openly as a member of LGBTQ+ community— first Indian athlete. Yes Dutee, you are Indian pride!  

 

(C) Deepa Malik: She is first Indian female athlete to win a Paralympic Medal for India. Despite her bodily disability, she symbolises courage, belief in training, consistency and love for country, for she has successfully contested three Asian Para Games with 3 bronze and 1 silver. Her performance at Paralympic Games 2016 in shotput winning her a silver speaks of efforts she put in at an age of 46 and superior quality of talent possessed by her. Being conferred with Arjuna Award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2017, and now President of India will be conferring upon her highest sporting honour— Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year. There is no stopping to your fine voyage anymore, for you have been through highest barricades, you go champion!