India’s most successful female tennis player, Sania Mirza,is delighted that her female counterparts are now making waves in the game.
She, however, noted that more is needed to be done, even though many of India’s sporting stars, except cricket, are women.
The 33-year-old who noted that it would take a few more generations before the Indian people start seeing a sportswoman as a natural career choice in the country.
Speaking during a webinar organised by the All India Tennis Association and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the six-time Grand Slam winner said she is proud of her female counterparts in other sports as well over the feat, describing it as a huge step.
While stating she knows how difficult it can be to pursue a sport being a woman India, she pointed that the current situation shows that things have changed, but they are still miles to go before reaching the point where an Indian girl can fulfil her childhood dream in any sport.
On why girls tend to quit tennis when they reach the age of 15 or 16, Sania blamed deep cultural issues for it. She further explained that sports in India are not a natural thing to parents, who want their daughters to be either teachers, doctors, or lawyers, but not an athlete.
Some of the trailblazing Indian women athletes include Olympic medal-winning shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal, Asian Games champion wrestler Vinesh Phogat, world champion boxer Mary Kom, and former world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu.
In her outline of the challenges women athletes are facing, she said she was being asked when she would become a mother even after achieving everything. She noted that the norm in India has been if a woman is not a mother, her achievement in incomplete., which she described as deeper cultural issues.
She added that the embedded culture would take years to be rid of by a few more generations.
Written by: Oladipupo Mojeed