Women sports play an important role in India. Women participation in sports plays a major role to improve their physical activity and helps them to promote their physical ability and skills, gender equity, women empowerment. This article helps to analyze the role of Indian women in sports. Importance for women sports is growing fast in Indian culture and the participation of women in sports are increasing day by day. The investigation of the article helps to view the women participation in sports, what are the opportunity available in sports and the challenges faced by women in sports. Women faces lot of problem in current environment, she has to come out from the battlefield of life to prove themselves.
Earlier days women are not allowed to participate in sports because of cultural constrain but after long years women started participating in sports by overcoming their hurdles in life. Family should support and encourage women players to carry on next level. The encouragement in sports gives the players more support to achieve at various levels in sports. Sports are one of the key for women to be equal with shoulders of men. Olympic Games are the major platform for all the trained participants to prove their talent worldwide. Major competitors in Olympic Games are from other countries, so the Indian women should be trained with professional coaches. Government should encourage women sports participation by conduct awareness program and introduce new schemes.
Key Words: Women sports, Women empowerment, Battlefield, Encouragement, Government.
Sport is universal and does not discriminate on color, caste, creed, sex. Sports help to promote the health, positive feeling, prevention from diseases and also overall development of every woman. It helps women to achieve and shine in society equal to men. Sports is one of the key pillar for upbringing the women in the society. Earlier days women were are allowed to participate in sports due to cultural barriers. After many years by overcoming the cultural barrier women started participating in sports. Numerous social and environmental factors affect the women to participate in sports. By actively participating in sports, women can shape their personality as leaders and also this leads to develop the traditional culture in nation.
More and more women are involved in sports, by inspiration of other sports personality. The inspiration gives other women to take part in sports and giving them lots of opportunity to achieve and prove them in the society. This gives women a leading capability in the social environment and women started changing the society. Government provides women a special scheme, quotes for education and job. They provide lot of sports related to women to bring them upwards in the society. In recent days, sports and physical activity are the only strategy for improving the empowerment of women and women can also involve in sports like also play wrestling, boxing, pole-vaulting, judo, karate etc. Women empowerment helps sports women to maintain physical, mental and social health. Women are recognized all over the world by sports. International organization encourages Indian women through conducting sports worldwide.
Objective of the Research
- To understand the women sports.
- To analyze the risk behind the participation of women sports.
- To analyze the steps, benefits, challenges and opportunities.
Limitation of the Research
- Time limit.
- Data variation and availability.
Women Sports Participation in India
In India recent years, women participation in sports are increasing day by day is a greater achievement. Government authorities promote motivation to the women participants in sports by giving them various opportunities. Participation in sports gives both merits and demerits to the women. The government of India is encouraging women to participate in sports. Indian government has framed lot of policies which are benefitted to women. Several Indian women were participated in Olympics and now they are one of the inspirations for all others to participate in sports. Even in recent day’s female sports celebrity’s involving themselves a role model to others. Women in sports help to increase the importance of sports to others. As culture changes year by year, it gives a chance to develop the society. Women empowerment can be developed through conducing sports events for women. According to women sports commission women participation in sports statistics are given below.
Indian Government Steps toward Women Sports
- Conducting awareness program for women participation in sports and raising awareness among safety and healthy environment for women.· Promoting the more opportunities for women in sports.
- Inspiration through real life galleries short film.
- Taking support from Medias to spread positive information, spot light women sports events and their achievements are highlighted.
- Providing quality training through professional coaches.· Separate sport institution for women participants.
- Securing women from sexual harassment, violence etc.
- Financial support to the participants is provided by the Indian government in order to support their financial status and family background.
- Introducing sports subject will help women to realize the value of sports.
- Government quotas for women participating in sports.
- Success stories, films of sports personality are taken for understanding more about sports and increase the confidence among society.
- Indian government sends best player to participate in international games.
- Jobs are provided by Indian government for sports women.
- Conducting many state and zonal level games within nation to improve their physical ability and skills in sports.
Merits of Women in Sports
Women can improve her physical activity during practice and participating in sports. Physical activity helps to improve health and fitness. Keeps mind free from stress and prevent from chronic illness such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes etc. physical activity can reduce risk of obesity in women and helps to make stronger bone.
Women participating in sports are linked throughout social network. They become popular in society. Women participating in sports are role model for others. They become inspiration for others to participate in sports. In society they become popular person.
Women participating in sports have lot of self-confidence. This gives them strength to participate in sports at various levels. Lot of Self-confidence can reduce rate of depression and risk of suicide.
Sports women have a talent to shine them as a leader. Team building gives them leadership quality. Personality building helps to develop them as a leader of society. Leadership skills teach them to feel positive and higher self-esteem.
Challenges of Women in Sports
Women participating in sports faces major challenge in gender equality are highly evident and they are treated so differently. Gender equality is the constraint faced by all the women that can cause them lack of confidence which leads to depression. This causes women not to participate in sports events or sometimes leads to failure. But in recent years women overcoming the challenge and making themselves equal to the shoulders of men.
Family support is major need for women. Without family support and encouragement women are unable to achieve in the society. Family issues sometimes lead to depression and lack of concentration. Women participation in sports should take forward by the family members and encourage them to participate in various levels of sports.
Women with passion or interest in sports, who cannot participate in sports, are lagging in financial status. Financial status is important factor needed for women to proceed at sports in various levels. Government helps the women who are well talented, physical ability and skill towards sports and passion to join sports as career. Sports institution is started by government in order to train the sports women.
Safe and security
Safe and security is the integral part of challenges in women. Sexual harassment from society can cause fear in mind. Due to insecurity the women leaves all her passion, interest, involvement in sports. They are afraid of society and feel insecure to participate in sports.
Women facing health issues during participation in sports can cause depression. Health issues can leads to non-participation in sports. Some of the major chronic diseases can cause women not to participate in sports. Fitness is major challenge in sports. Women should be healthy to keep their body and mind fit during sports participation. Mensuration brings lot of side effects, where women fight with mensuration during practicing and participating in sports.
Cultural changes can cause women a challenging environment. Social and cultural environment plays a major role in challenges of women sports. Society can make women to bring upwards or downwards. So society also a major challenges for women. Overcoming a society is the important battlefield for women.
Earlier days women were are not allowed to participate in sports. After long years women started participating in sports actively. Recent days more and more women participating in sports and there are mass competition among talented women. Mass participation increases the competition very tougher.
Opportunities of Women in Sports
- Sports women are given job opportunities such as clinical exercise specialist, physical therapist, trainer, coach etc.
- Women participating in sports have opportunity to participate in Olympic Games.
- Sport women are given government quotas for job and education.
- Indian government gives special schemes for sports women.
- Opportunities to participate in various levels and Indian government provide separate sports school for sports women for training and practice.
- Sports goods and equipment are provided by government.
- Opportunity to shine in society as role models.
- Injury during sports events or sudden accidents, Indian government gives opportunity to develop their career such as trainer or coach.
- Reward for sports women are organized by Indian government
- Highlighting the sports personality in society and recognizing them in social media.
- Training for sports women are provided from schooling.
- Separate coaches for women who are going to participate in Olympic Games.
- Opportunity to participate in international games with the help of Indian government.
- Government jobs are provided for women participating in sports.
Indian Women Sports Champions
P.T.Usha was the first women to participate in Asian games and Olympics. She was known “Golden Girl of India” and she was the first Indian track and field athlete. P.T.Usha started her travel in the year 1980 Olympics games and she also participated in many Asian games. In 1998, P.T.Usha and her team won gold medal in Asian championship in athletics.
Karnom Malleswari won Bronze medal for the category weightlifting at Sydney Olympics 2000.She was the first Indian women to win medal at Olympics. She was known as “Iron Lady”. She was the first inspiration to all women. Her practice and confidence made her to win Bronze medal at Olympics. Karnam melleswari received India highest sporting honored named Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.
Mary kom won Bronze medal for the category boxer-flyweight 51kg at London Olympics 2012. Boxing was included for first time in London Olympics 2012.Mary kom was first Indian women to participate in boxing, when it was included in Olympics. As she was mother of two children, she was unable to participate in RIO Olympics 2016. At the age of 33, she has 13 Gold, 2 Bronze and 2 Silver and after retirement she started boxing academy in India.
Saina Nehwal won Bronze medal for the category badminton-singles at London Olympics 2012.She was the first Indian women to participate in badminton at Olympics. In 2015, Saina Nehwal was the number one world badminton ranking Indian women. During Rio Olympics she was injured and bowled out in her second match. She started her Olympics travel in the year 2008 Beijing Olympics and as of now she has won 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 6 Bronze medals.
P.V.Sindhu won silver medal for the category badminton-singles at RIO Olympics 2016. She started playing from the age of eight and still she is aggression and passion with badminton. Picking up the racket in hand gives her more confidence and the passion towards badminton helps her to overcome all the struggles around her.
Sakshi Malik won bronze medal for the category wrestling-58kg at RIO Olympics 2016. She is the first Indian women wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She started her wrestling training at the age of 12 and proved herself in the age of 23 by winning silver medal in commonwealth games in 2014, Bronze medal at Asian championship 2015. Her patience and practice helped her to win the medal in RIO Olympics.
Bula choudhury is the first women swimming champion. She crossed all the seven seas in the world. Government of india rewarded her with arjuna award and Padma shri award. Later she was elected as MLA in West Bengal. Bula choudhury opened a swimming academy in kolkota and she trained potential swimmers. She also sponsor swimmers who do not get chance to show their potential and financially backward.
Mithali raj is the captain of Indian women’s cricket. She is one of the best batters with high ranking score in international cricket. She played many match in women’s international cricket. Government of India in 2003 awarded her with Arujna award and in 2015 she was awarded with Padma shri.
Ministry Of Youth Affairs And Sports
The Ministry of youth affairs and sports helps young talented women to participate in sports. They promote and develop specific sports disciplines with concern of national sports federations. Many government schemes for women sports are promoted by ministry. They categorize schemes according to senior, junior and sub-junior and provide them financial assistance. Ministry organizes national championship and international tournaments in India. They also organize coaching camps in abroad. Ministry encourages women to participate in sports from district, state and national levels. They conduct special programs and sports events for women to participate in sports. Some of the development plan of ministry of youth affairs and sports are National sports development fund, Khelo India scheme etc.
National Sports Development Fund
National sports development fund (NSDF) is under ministry of youth affairs and sports, its main objective is to promote excellence in sports with top level sports personality. Recently IIFCL gave 10 Crore for the welfare development of sports in India. This amount was used for badminton, archery and Para sports women and their welfare.
Pension For Sports Women
Ministry of youth affairs and sports provides pension for seniors, juniors and sub junior according to their category of field. Pension is the one of the benefit for all sports women. For the welfare of sports women pension are revised every year. Recently pension was revised at 1st April 2018. The basic pension starts from Rs 12000 to Rs 20000 depending upon the category. Pension which helps in future after retirement. The rate of pension will be doubled when they won medals in Olympics and Asian games.
Scholarship programs help sports women in their financial status. Scholarships are provided to women those who are well talented in sports and won championship in state and national level sports. This program is sponsored by Khelo India. They have separate team for talent identification. Scholarships are provided for training, development, and boarding, Lodging and tournament expenses. Annual stipend is provided to sports women for their pocket expense, treating injury and local travel.
Post Graduate Diploma In Business Management In Sports
Ministry started PGDM courses for sports in India. The courses under PGDM sports are guided by Indian Institute of Management (IIM). PGDM course strengthens the overall sports ecosystem and develop various sports sector. Special institution for sports was started by ministry of youth affairs and sports.
- First ever training center in India for Para sportsperson with world class facilities.
- MOU was signed with international boxing academy with boxing federation of India.
- High level committee was framed by ministry in order to resolve grievance of sports women.
- India conducted 22nd Asian Championship successfully.
- Ministry first organized Grameen Marathon in Delhi.
- Rural games in Delhi successfully.
- Ministry launched sports talent research portal.
- MOU between India Australia sports partnership was signed.
- Ministry approved Empowered steering committee
- Conducted National workshop in “sports for all”
- Financial assistance to sports foundation trust
“Powerful strategy to win women empowerment is sports”. As year passes the situation of society are improving and number of opportunities are increasing for sports. Indian government provides lot of opportunity and schemes for sports women. There are more and more hurdles for women in participating in sports to overcome these barriers government provides various schemes, financial support to the women. Family plays a major role in women life. Family is the major support and encouragement for women to participate in sports. Women should motivate her to achieve various levels in sports. Participation in sports helps women to improve her health and prevent her from all chronic illness. As a result still more women should overcome all the constraints and to participate in sports this gives them a better and healthy life.
- Fink JS. Female athletes, women sport, and the sport media commercial complex: Have we really “come a long way, baby”. Sport Management Review. 2017; 18(3):331-42.
- Ahmed RH. Women sports in India: Constraints, challenges, complications, and its remedies. International Journal of Applied Research. 2015;13:656- 59.
- Burton LJ, Leberman S. Women in sport leadership: research and practice for change. India, 2017.
- CAAWS. (2005). Success Stories: Increasing Opportunities for Girls and Women in National and Multi-Sport Organizations. CAAWS: Ottawa.
- Bharat Jhunjhunwala and Madhu Jhunjhunwala – Indian approach to women’s empowerment 2018
- Ramkrishna . H .The Emerging Role of NGOs in Rural Development of India – International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research IJSSIR, Vol. 2 (4), APRIL (2017)
- Schoenberg G, Hanlon P, Suresh A. Understanding current governance practices of Indian national sport federations. Working Paper. Deakin University. Melbourne, 2017.
- warrier M. www.femalecricket.com. Retrieved October 21, 2017, from Female cricket: http://www.femalecricket.com, 2016.
- Mithali Raj praises social media’s role in surge of women’s cricket. Retrieved October 21, 2017, from Rediff Sports: http://m.rediff.com, 2017
- Bradshaw P, Murray V, Wolpin J. Women on boards of nonprofits: What difference do they make?. Nonprofit Management and Leadership. 1996;6(3):241-54.
- Mary Kom attempts to create history in Olympics boxing by reaching final – Economic and Times of India (18 May 2012). ‘Mary Kom qualifies for London Olympics’. Times of India Retrieved 7 June 2018.
- Dandikar, Hemalata.(1986). Indian Women’s Development: Four Lenses. South Asia Bulletin,VI (1), 2- 10. Delhi.