I checked my facebook wall yesterday, it was filled with photos/statuses and posts on P.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Yadav. Everyone was busy celebrating their success, their victory in Olympics. For once my heart felt filled full of joy and peace. I felt happy because these are the same achievements which answer all stereotypic questions on women and their ability to surpass men. Well, what better way than answering it with Olympic medals. Proving that they are equal if not better than men. But what I loved the most was the enthusiasm of people who celebrated their success, who felt happy about it the way I did.
But wait, Is that all we can do? Does our responsibility end there? Condemning the facilities and lack of them and pointing fingers on the authorities and the system for the lack of support is the other kind of stereotypes that I see. They complain. They say, “ There are not enough facilities, not enough support, so not many succeed in sports in India.” Their responsibility ends there. The blame game starts again during the next Olympics, and it will be the same for next 20 years unless we act.
This concern of mine was woken up when we at Readoo received this email. The email read ,
“My name is Tanvi Jagadish. I AM A SURFER!
No, wait let me start this way – My name is Tanvi Jagadish, I am a 16 years old GIRL Mangaluru, Karnataka. I studied in Delhi Public School. And I AM A SURFER.
Being an Indian, what I want to do in my life is tied to so many irrelevant factors such as my sex, my age, my origin, etc etc. Read my story! “
I wonder if there could be a better way to articulate an introduction. Whoa!! This girl means business. Yes, she does. I went on reading the mail only to find a person who could well be the next P.V Sindhu. This charming young girl started her surfing journey at the age of 14. The letter also read about how she knew that she wanted to surf from an age of 8, but she had to fight with family, society, and numerous other unseen forces. Well, she puts it up nicely again,” Surfing was never considered a sport for girls, sorry, I mean Indian girls”. Yes, girl you are right, you live in a society where wearing a swimsuit is a taboo.
But then this girl was not the one to budge or soften to pressure. But I didn’t give up. She joined the Mantra Surf Club and spent a lot of time training in both surfing and SUP (Stand Up Paddling). It was the trainers from this club who convinced her parents that it could actually work – that a girl could actually surf and it would be totally fine!
Then there were a list of achievements of hers from various national level events. Her first competition was in 2015 in Chennai. The list read
- 2015 SUP Nationals Covelong Point Surf Classic – First place
- 2016 SUP Nationals Manapad Classic surf and sail festival – First Place
- 2016 SUP Nationals Indian Open of Surfing (Presented by Karnataka Tourism) – First place
- 2016 Surfing Nationals Indian Open of Surfing – Third place
And then there was this big news, She has been invited to participate In a number of international competitions representing India . She is the first Indian female to represent India in Stand Up Paddling.
And what followed was the real subject of her letter. It read, “But participating internationally is not possible without the financial and emotional support of my fellow Indians. I am just afraid that in my effort trying to convince and win the heart of fellow Indians, I guess it would be too late and I will miss on this International event that could be the change I wish to bring! I request you to provide any support that you can and if you can share my story with others who could support me.” This probably was the saddest thing for me to read. The plight of a seasoned campaigner, who just had to send a request to a website, hoping that it would help her achieve her dreams. What can be sadder than this? A sports woman is spending time writing letters in search of support so that she could participate in an international competition representing the nation!!
Well now is the time for a question, a big one in fact. What can we do to her? How can we support her? Shall we do it now by funding her, helping her become the next big star, or wait for her to struggle on her own, shed tears, sweat and blood in search of support and success, and then when she wins ( I am sure she will, she has a wit made up of steel ) put emotional statuses and laud her as the proud daughter of this nation. Shall we give her the support, both financially and emotionally and enjoy her success ? ( I repeat, A girl with a nerve of steel like her knows only one thing, That’s success. And she will succeed)
Bottomline: This was what I learnt over a conversation with Tanvi, And we at Readoo endorse it as well. “ When a girl wants to do something out of the ordinary, when she wants to chase her dreams, all that she gets is sarcastic glances and responses which kill her zeal to achieve. But even with all these hurdles, Girl’s like Tanvi stand out by achieving what is said impossible to girls. So why not try supporting them from the very beginning, Why not identify talents like Tanvi in the grass root level, support them, groom them and see them succeed. When a girl succeeds she brings laurels to the nation that she represents, and when a girl succeeds it is the humanity that succeeds. So shall we say cheers to Tanvi and support her.
Tanvi Jagadish’s Father’s Bank Account Details
Bank: STATE BANK OF MYSORE
Name: SATHYA SHAMANTH GOWDA
ISFC : SBMY0040158
AC : 64099528610
BRANCH: N R MOHALLA MYSORE ( NARASIMHARAJA MOHALLA)