Now, we Indians are celebrating the achievements of a couple of Indian women athletes who won medals or did exceptional performance in the Tokyo Olympics and in some of the previous Olympics. Their achievements are exceptional and they deserve appreciation. But what about the billions of Indian women who are away from the playgrounds. We consciously forget these billions in the name of a few Indian women athletes.
Where is the women in our playgrounds?
Right to play is a basic human right. We all need to play for fun, leisure, empowerment and most importantly for our overall wellbeing. Many studies conducted across the globe claim that girls and women who play sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression.
Universally in certain communities, women are not allowed to play due to the restrictions imposed by the religious extremists. But unfortunately, even in countries like India where women are even considered as Goddesses, majority of women are not getting opportunity to play. Reasons are many.
Previous decades our girls and women were used to play in their households and neighborhoods with their grandmas, aunties and siblings. But now, our families become lean and many families don’t have grandmas, aunties and siblings to play with our girls. The parents fear to send their daughters to neighborhood for playing because of the increasing number of child abuse cases in our society.
The majority of families, where the male members such as father, son, brother and husband lead an active lifestyle by regular workouts, cycling, walking or running do not take their mother, daughter, sister and wife with them.
In many schools, the playgrounds turned to be multistoried concrete buildings and the boys occupy the remaining space. The majority of the lucky girls who get opportunity to play during schooldays leave sports forever when they leave the school.
After that most get opportunity to play, just with their kids and the kids of their kids. But, that’s not enough for our women to get the benefits they needed to get from sporting.