India squash ace Dipika Pallikal minced no words when she spoke out against gender bias in sport in the country at an awards function in Chennai recently, reported The New Indian Express.
Dipika Pallikal. Pic/Atul Kamble.
Speaking at the Naturals’ Extraordinary Women Award Ceremony on Friday night, where she received the Youth Icon award, the 22-year-old World No 11 explained why she prefers to stay away from national tournaments.
“The reason I don’t play many domestic matches is because men and women never get equal prize money. I have always stood by the fact that equality is the most important thing,” said the 22-year-old Padmashri awardee. The Chennai-born stunner felt it is high time women squash players are recognised for their achievements.
Recognition for women
“It’s really important to acknowledge where women squash players stand now. We are higher than men. I am World No 11 and Joshna (Chinappa) is No 20. We do exactly the same thing as men — we train as hard as them, we put in the same effort, we sacrifice a lot just like them. Just because they are stronger than us or run faster, there should not be an inequality,” added Dipika, who became the first Indian woman to break into the top 10 of the World Squash Association rankings in 2012.
Finally, she said that she hadn’t ruled out playing domestic tournaments in the future. “When equality kicks into Indian squash, I will definitely start playing domestic matches,” added Dipika, who recently made headlines for her engagement with India cricketer Dinesh Karthik.
As for her gorgeous looks that make her one of India’s hottest sportswomen at the moment, the Arjuna awardee simply said that doesn’t dress up to attract eye-balls: “I’ve never paid much attention to glamour. It is something that comes naturally to me. I only wear things that I feel comfortable in. I don’t do it to get extra attention.”