Haryana could have been the role model for other states for development. But, the state currently has its name coming up in the forefront for all the wrong reasons: gender inequality, female foeticides, rapes, women suppression and many more.
Some Grave Problems in Haryana for Women:
Female foeticides and rapes are rampant in the state.
Trafficking of women and forced marriages are common problems.
Widespread unemployment and the low status attributed to women.
The traditional way of living, where women still need to live under the veil.
Research studies have shown that women in Haryana, including the young girls, are busy in household chores and farm activities almost 16-18 hours a day.
With a patriarchal structure in the society, very little importance is given to women's recreational activities.
Haryana and Sports
One of the best ways to make Haryana a better place to live in, a place where women are respected, a place that India can be proud of, is by letting the women in Haryana participate in various activities that men have already taken part in. One such area is Sports. The state is known for its sporting culture. Haryana can actually be an excellent foreground for Indian sports. Unfortunately, in most of the games, we find male dominance. Proper steps should be taken to let women participate actively in sports in Haryana.
Haryana Women and Sports
It is interesting to note that while the state has the potential to bring women in the sports arena with variety of all other games, focus is being paid largely to hockey only. Haryana does have women who can be a part of every kind of sports. But, gender inequality is strongly evident in sports too.
Sports Scenario for Women
Women in Haryana are not given the proper encouragement to participate in sports.
The conditions for Haryana women to take up sports are not the same as men.
This is a society, which does not allow a daughter to have her basic education. So, to let her take part in sports cannot be without any hurdles.
There is a myth that a woman in sports has a stout figure with strong muscles and hence, the marriage chance of a woman player is very less.
There are no good leadership, personal trainers, physical education system, especially for women. As such, women cannot practice professionally.
The conditions under which sports are played for women are very pathetic. The playing ground for women's hockey or other sports is very much shabbier than the playground for men.
There are very less number of facilities for Haryana women's sports at college level. Also they do not get the requisite encouragement or opportunities to pursue sports once they attend college.
Why is that facilities and amenities required to nurture state women players are not being utilised in a proper manner?
Sisters Geeta and Babita Kumari from rural Haryana were criticised and were constantly under verbal attacks from the local villagers and relatives because they were wrestlers. According to the villagers, they have brought dishonour to women community. Geeta, who was the first Indian woman wrestler at the Olympics and Babita who went on to win a Commonwealth Games gold medal, have their achievements in hand only due to their own and their coaches personal efforts, despite the lack of attention from the state.
Not only hockey and athletics, there are other sports like Kushti, Kabaddi, Football, Volleyball, Basketball, Races etc., where women participation is increasing day by day in Haryana. But, in spite of this increase in participation of women in sports, there still remain other issues that need urgent consideration from the ruling government, which has so far failed on all such accounts. Issues such as deplorable conditions of stadiums, along with the security of women players at such places loom large in the state. Besides, there have also been complaints about the partiality in the selection process of women players. And, nepotism and political interference is something that is deeply rooted in the women sports, which the players often find hard to deal with. These and many more issues need immediate consideration by the government to enhance the current women sports scenario in the state.
In the long run, women sports in Haryana can be an eye opener for all daughters to get their privileges and rights that they were denied so far. But there is the need to chalk out an effective model to bring about an awareness of mass participation and social acceptance of women in sports. Premier leagues on the lines of cricket can be started only for women sports. Female sport participation can play a major role in developing their individual identity.