“One of my duties as a Sports Mentor, for KKMF in an MCD school was to train a girls’ football team for the League. With a 7:3 Boy-Girl ratio, the diversity in the school was disturbing. To worsen the situation, one of my best players backed out just before the league as her father, a humble rickshaw puller, refused her to participate.
With an adamant “No”, he said that she was a grown-up and instead of wasting time on Football, she was better off at her home where she could take care of other important household duties. As her mentor, I explained to her father how sports can improve her life by giving examples of the Indian women athletes who broke such stereotypes and won medals at the 2016 Olympics, but he was apprehensive.
Surprisingly, on the league day, she came with her father and emerged as the lead scorer. After winning the last match, she ran to her father and hugged him. This brief moment changed the way I perceive things in life. I was immensely moved as my small efforts had made a huge difference. “Yeh Khelegi” were her father’s words before they left. I realized that due to illiteracy, parents are unaware and carry society-driven blockages which aren’t easily for saken.
It is our responsibility to make them realize that a girl stands at power with a boy in all spheres of life. Instead of finding the root cause, we only see the tip of the iceberg and if we keep playing this gutter game of blaming the government then we are the culprits too. Now when I see the ratio it is no more disturbing. Rather, I see it as a gap in our system and as a duty of every individual to work on it. It is achievable and steadily we will.”
Submitted By – Shivam Saggar, Sports Mentor, KKMF
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