She brought glory to the country when she won the gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She brought laurels to the country at various international sporting events around the world. She represented India at two Olympic Games, in Beijing and London, and even bagged the bronze medal on two occasions at the Asian Games.
And now, discus thrower Krishna Poonia has set a different kind of example.
The 39-year-old former athlete was stranded in her car at a congested railway crossing in the Churu district of Rajasthan on New Year’s Day. Suddenly her attention fell to two young girls being chased by three men on a bike. Poonia soon realised that the two teenagers, who turned out to be sisters, were being harassed by the three bullies.
The 6’1” Poonia immediately got out of her car and accosted the three bullies. On the mere sight of her, the three rowdies quickly ran away on their bike in an attempt to flee the scene.
Poonia, however, was not one to let them off the hook so easily. She chased them, meandering her way through the crowd, and after around 50m caught up with the fleeing bike. The discus-thrower caught hold of one of the bullies and hauled him off the seat.
The filmi-style chase drew a huge crowd in the area but still the police were the last to arrive on the scene. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Poonia said, “When I saw those two girls being harassed, I thought that they could well have been my daughters. That made me go after the men. The police station was barely two minutes away from the spot, but it took the cops some time to reach, and I had to phone them twice. How will cops ensure women’s safety if they arrive late?”
Poonia then accompanied the girls to the police station and helped them in completing the formalities. “The problem with our society is that there are not many people who would raise their voice and protest when they see a girl being harassed. Instead, they choose to stay mute spectators,” she said.
Poonia has set an example with this act of bravado. In an age where the women are harassed and abused on a daily basis in the country, this incident serves as an example of how women and bystanders should raise their voice. With the recent events in Bangalore on New Year’s Eve, where the police were yet again ineffective, it helps to have more Poonias coming out and teaching a lesson to the harassers.