Real Heroes are Indian Women Sportspersons

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS): Indian sportswomen, it appears, have finally arrived, seeing their triumphant performance at the Commonwealth Games where they won medals in almost every sport they took part in, say noted women experts.

The Indian sportswomen have emerged as the real 'heroes' surprising many with their prize-winning spree.

"We are very proud of them and their efforts. They have become role models for many young girls. Their success is an inspiration and a proof that if girls are given a chance, they can shine too," Ranjana Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research, told IANS.

"If they are encouraged more, they will definitely do much better. There should also be a support system for athletes who come from poor backgrounds, irrespective of their sex," Kumari said.

"And it was seen in these Games that many such athletes exhibited so much of talent," she added.

Of the 101 medals, including 38 gold, won by India, women sportspersons bagged 22 medals, including 15 gold and 4 silver.

The women made their mark in almost all fields, including weightlifting, shooting, badminton, wrestling, table-tennis, athletics.

The gold Krishna Poonia won in women's discus throw broke India's drought in athletics after 52 years. Saina Nehwal's gold in badminton singles' helped India pip England as number 2 in the overall medals tally.

Kiran Bedi, the country's first woman IPS officer, said the triumph of the women sportspersons was the victory of their families and coaches.

"Despite the government's inadequacies, these players have emerged winners. The credit goes to their determined families and the coaches training them. Totally proud of them," Bedi said.

Agreed yesteryears' actress and social activist Nafisa Ali. "Women athletes prepared brilliantly and their coaches and families worked hard too. The youth of this country should be inspired by their success."

Noted writer Geeta Hariharan confessed that she was not into sports, but agreed that these women had made their mark against all odds and have to be admired.

"It's a wonderful effort and I am extremely happy that they have done so well. It goes to show that they can reach the highest levels if they work hard," said Shovana Narayan, renowned Kathak danseuse.

"These people will become icons and will inspire others. Young girls will tell themselves that if they can do it, we can too. More important is that such success stories help to bring about changes in the mindset of families to allow their daughters more freedom," she said.


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