mid-day editorial: It's time we batted for women's sports
The accolades continue for the Indian women's cricket team after they finished runner-up, losing by nine runs to England in the recently concluded ICC Women's World Cup final.
Mumbai's Punam Raut, the top scorer in that match, echoed the sentiments of Mithali Raj, who said the Board of Control for Cricket in India should consider an Indian Premier League (IPL) for women to raise the popularity of the format and give women an avenue to make cricket a career, like the men have.
Congratulations and felicitations are still flowing, PM Narendra Modi's kodak moments and meetings with the team will be great memories for the girls, as will the felicitation by the Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel in New Delhi.
While this response is heartening, let this translate into more opportunities for girls to follow their sporting dreams.
Girls must be given the same freedom as boys to go out and play. In Mumbai, for instance, on public holidays, we see young boys playing cricket outside, but rarely see young women. In the few parks and maidans that we have, it's usually only boys kicking a football around, or doing exercises at the open-air gyms. We do not usually see young women doing so.
We do see a lot of women now running on our roads, training for marathons and long-distance events, which is a welcome change from a few years ago and an indicator that women are finally claiming public spaces as their own.
Women's sporting achievements on the national and international stage must change the status quo here in local terms. Something as simple as encouraging young girls to go out and play can make all the difference. It's the first small step to greater things for our women sportspersons.
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